Is grief impacting your business?
“This week I have had three conversations with clients in three different countries, in three different situations that have had very similar stories – unmotivated, missing who they “used to be” or how they “used to perform”, not really sure of what’s going on or what to do with it” – Emily Dickinson.
DISCLAIMER: Emily is not a counsellor, only a couch.
Research suggests that unresolved grief costs companies billions of dollars a year in lost productivity and performance. One woman started a not-for-profit org over covid, got to stay home and work on her business with her hubby and didn’t have to do all the things pre-covid that she didn’t want to do. Coming out of covid, without her realising it, was bringing her grief to let go of a life that she had created that she loved. She had lost motivation in her business and didn’t know why. She hadn’t been able to name it but just noticed how different she was approaching life.
How to recognise where grief is coming from?
Sometimes it’s obvious like the passing of a loved one. But other times it could be subtle and yet still as impacting. Things like grieving expectations that never came to fruition, finishing up a job you didn’t like, coming out of covid, moving countries. Even disappointment if you don’t process it can knock you out of the game, whether that’s as an entrepreneur, minister, employee, or anything else.
How to know if it’s impacting your business:
Employers & managers, be aware that grief comes in all shapes & sizes and your employees are probably feeling it on some level.
Some situations have a direct correlation to grief in your business – not being where you thought you’d be in your business/career, leaving a job, missing a staff person, etc.
But other times you might have grief in life that you didn’t realise was impacting your business.
Counter the problem:
But how do we know if it is something else other than grief? To know if it is grief we need to test it and see if it lands. If it doesn’t land for you then it is probably not grief.
The solution/Key point
There are some things we can do with grief:
- Notice it. Both in yourself and your staff. Notice if you have similar symptoms to the clients mentioned earlier – unmotivated, not working the same as you do use to do or maybe they are even teary. Sometimes other people can pick up on your grief so be open to receiving feedback.
- Name it. What is it you are actually grieving over? Don’t shame yourself. Don’t shame your team.
- Forgive yourself. Have compassion for yourself.
- Grieve it. Cry if you need to, feel it. As business owners or generally in life, we feel like the feelings may overwhelm us and “ain’t nobody got time for that”. But there’s no fast-tracking it. What you resist, persists. So stop resisting it and let it out. AND let your teams have space to grieve.
- Create meaning from the loss – make the pain count.
- Get counselling to help you process it if it’s not going away or you want to grieve with someone.
- Symbol/ceremony of some sort. We have funerals for people but you can also create a form of ceremony for events, changes or other losses. Getting closure is important.
- Then when you are ready, move forward, knowing that it might look different for everyone.
Let’s not let unresolved grief stop our leadership or our business growth. Take action and do something about the grief that is inevitable.
Hear the full chat below: