People cry at work… That is a fact.
Amy Gallo wrote a piece ‘What to do when an employee cries at work‘ in the Harvard Business Review Blog that offers some good tips.
It is important to remember that it is not always the boss who will be faced with a crying employee. Sheryl Sandberg in her book ‘Lean In’ talks about Marcus Buckingham’s research saying “true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed” and gives an example of a time when the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, shared emotion and even shed a tear.
To be successful at a job, it is important to be authentic. That means remembering that people have good and bad days. Problems do not stop because the work day begins. By having an environment where employees are empowered to be honest and authentic (without fear of repercussion) then they will be able to take the time or get the assistance needed to deal with a problem or share emotions freely resulting in happier and more productive employees.
A true leader possesses the skill of listening and compassion. Leadership happens at all levels no matter the job title. The ability to empathize with a colleague whether they are sharing tears of joy or pain is an important skill to bring to a team. It creates a sense of community.
We live in a time where work and life are not two separate entities. Work takes place beyond a specified time frame. We have colleagues who are friends, advisers and/or mentors.
To quote Sheryl Sandberg in from her book Lean In “maybe someday shedding tears in the workplace will no longer be viewed as embarrassing or week, but as a simple display of authentic emotion.”