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Life is constantly changing and can throw you the most unexpected curveballs. While professionalism tells us to leave personal problems at home and focus on work, the truth of the matter is that what happens outside work can have an impact on what happens inside.
Professionals often keep their personal problems to themselves, hoping their leaders and colleagues won't see them as a problem with performance or behavior. Great employees know the importance of speaking up with trusted leaders to help them through difficult times. Being open with your personal issues can improve team performance and connect you more effectively.
How to speak to your leader about personal matters
True leadership involves knowing how to best use your resources to achieve the best results. A leader will often mobilize resources to assist employees when they become aware of a problem in their lives.
It is important for employees to think carefully about how and what they share with their leaders and their colleagues. However, if done right, it can help build loyalty and increase team success, even in the most difficult times. These are some things to keep in mind before you speak to your leader.
1. Talk to your leader immediately and be aware of the problem.
Many team members make the mistake of trying to solve a problem by themselves. You can solve a problem faster if you identify it and discuss it. A leader often notices that an employee is performing poorly and will inform them. It is better to inform your leader early on about the problem so that they don't guess what's causing your poor performance.
Related: Burnout is on the rise. Here's what managers can do to ensure their employees feel supported
2. Share your thoughts and be open about the problem.
Leaders find it satisfying to support employees professionally, and also find satisfaction in supporting employees during difficult times. Leaders often want to know what their employees did to solve or mitigate the problem. In times of personal hardship, the leader may want to know the details of the employee's efforts to resolve the problem. Employment is a type of partnership. To gain trust in your leader and to get their support, be honest about the solutions you've tried.
3. You should be prepared to request a specific accommodation in order to resolve your problem
Leaders will often be more than happy to accommodate employees' specific needs when it makes business and personal sense. Think about how accommodation can impact your business and the performance of other team members. Employees should not feel ashamed to discuss possible accommodations with their boss.
4. Appreciate the support you receive and be open to helping others in the future
An employee should communicate their future plans to assist others in the workplace during a discussion about accommodations. It is possible to build trust among team members by being grateful to others during times of hardship and expressing gratitude for the support they received.
Related: How to help a struggling employee get back on track
While asking for help is not something that everyone enjoys, it can make people more open and build trust. Although it can be daunting to ask for accommodation from a leader, or business, it will help the leader understand the performance drop of a great employee and offer assistance.