Talking to Your Employees About Stress at Work
What you'll learn
- What your role is and isn’t when a colleague shares mental health concerns at work
- How to create a climate of trust, so that colleagues feel comfortable sharing personal information
- How to mitigate bias when it comes to discussions about mental health at work
- A variety of strategies for helping your colleagues with stress at work, without overstepping
- How to ask powerful questions that feel inviting and supportive, rather than prying or judgmental
- What to do when a colleague’s stress impacts their productivity — and yours
- How to reduce stigma and increase inclusion when it comes to mental health
- What to say and what not to say to someone who is struggling
- What to do if you’re having a tough time, too
- Students should understand that this course is not a Mental Health First Aid course
- Students should understand that this course is not training to be a counselor, therapist or other mental health professional
- Students should understand that this course is not designed to teach you to diagnose any mental health conditions
- Students should understand that this course is not a substitute for connecting your colleague with a licensed mental health resource
- Students should understand that this course is not preparing you to be part of an EAP (Employee Assistance Program)
- Students should understand that this course is not a substitute for your organization’s existing practices around having these conversations
What if my colleague tells me they’re overwhelmed all the time — what am I supposed to do?
What if my direct report’s stress is stressing ME out?
What do I do if my teammate is having a hard time at home — but I don’t want to pry into their personal life?
At least some of my colleagues are remote. How am I supposed to know how they’re really feeling?
The pandemic is on its way out. Shouldn’t people be over it already?
If you recognize that stress, burnout, and anxiety are at an all-time high — and you want to know how to help your colleagues without backing away or overstepping — then this course is for you.
A recent study of more than 2,000 global employees found that 38% of people say their company has not even asked them if they are doing okay.
That’s not okay.
Each of us has a responsibility to create an open, inclusive, and safe environment for our colleagues to bring their whole selves to work, including their mental wellbeing. In fact, research has found that feeling like you can share openly at work leads to better performance, engagement, employee retention, and overall well-being.
And yet, talking about mental health and mental wellbeing at work can feel intimidating, overwhelming, and too personal. But it doesn’t have to be. In this course, you will learn how to have conversations with your colleagues or direct reports that help them feel safe sharing their stress — and help you feel well-equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
I created this practical Udemy course for you — assuming you are NOT a licensed mental health professional (and don’t plan on becoming one by next week). This course draws from my education in psychology and social work, my decades of work as an executive coach in Fortune 100 companies helping leaders at all levels navigate stress at work, the research I conducted for my book, “Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life” and my personal experience as someone who lives with mental illness -- and is living a happy, healthy, successful life.
This is the ultimate self-help course: it’s helping you to help others around you (and you’ll definitely pick up some practical stress management techniques to use personally, too!)
So what will this course cover?
Why we are so stressed right now (and why it’s not going away anytime soon)
Why we all need to have “The Talk" about stress at work
What does stress actually look like?
How we can step in without overstepping
Understanding why your colleagues might be afraid to share
Managing your personal beliefs about mental health
Creating a culture of trust
Don’t assume you know who is stressed out: How to be mindful of bias
How to show empathy without getting sucked in
How to listen when someone is sharing something personal
How to ask questions without pushing or prying
What to say and what not to say to someone who is struggling
Offering a "Help Menu" of 20+ ways to support your colleagues
Practical strategies, tips, and tools for helping others deal with anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout
What to do if you’re having a tough time, too
Whether you think that mental health is way too personal for work -- or you can’t wait to start talking to your colleagues about how they’re coping -- this course is for you.
Who this course is for:
- Anyone curious about stress, burnout, anxiety, mental health and mental illness - for themselves or others
- Professionals with people management responsibilities
- Team members and individual contributors who want to be able to support their colleagues during stressful times
- Leaders who are committed to creating a culture of inclusion and psychological safety around health and mental health
- Human Resources professionals
- Employee Wellbeing professionals
- Diversity, Equity, Culture, and Inclusion professionals
I’m an instructor of Management Communication at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, and I partner with both Columbia Business School and Duke Corporate Education as a speaker and coach for their custom leadership development programs. I have also served as a Visiting Professor of Executive Communications at the Beijing International MBA Program at Peking University, China, where I prepared senior leaders from around the world to communicate more effectively in a growing global marketplace.
As a regular columnist on leadership and communication for Harvard Business Review, Inc., Psychology Today, Fast Company and more, I focus on sharing practical, research-based approaches to common workplace challenges.
I consult for companies including Amazon, BlackRock, Bloomberg, KraftHeinz, PepsiCo, and The United States Army.
I combine my background in cognitive and social psychology, leadership coaching, presentation skills, appreciative inquiry, and, perhaps most importantly, improvisational and stand-up comedy, to help leaders and teams think on their feet and make thoughtful decisions about their impact. I believe that the most successful leaders are those who balance professional credibility with personal authenticity, combining their deep expertise with transparency about where they need to grow.
I am the mom of twins Jake and Sophie, the wife of a fellow leadership coach, Michael, and the favorite human of our rescue dog Nash.