One of the Pathways to Leadership facilitators shared, “It is often said that ‘it is lonely at the top.’ But isn’t it often lonely in the middle… as well as at the lower levels of an organization?”

How true! While those at the top certainly deal with immense pressures, it’s not just those at the top that could use extra support. With all the talk of bailouts, the rest of us might be left wondering, “What about me? Am I going to make it?”

It’s a huge elephant in the office for many organizations: No one can work and deliver at a high level when they’re distracted. With the inherent pressures of an economic firestorm, those around you are feeling the heat. Yet, no matter the rank, the tenure, the place on the “org chart”, the absolute truth is, everyone wants to be GREAT.

Pretending the pressure isn’t there doesn’t work. And yet, while so many have the passion to serve others, the tactics used to serve often fall short; “Don’t worry, be happy” might make for terrific song lyrics, but it rarely helps those in need.

You can provide an emotional bailout for those around you by:

1) Validating their emotions and perspective.

2) Ask questions that allow them to:

a. Build their strengths: “What is working well for you right now?”

b. Build confidence: “How have you succeeded in difficult moments in the past?”

c. Build momentum: “What can you do today that will help you focus and move forward?”

3) And check back with them. Telling someone “Let me know if I can be of further assistance” rarely helps. Instead, mark your calendar and come back to them in a week with questions that allow them to share their successes with you.

Everyone wants to be great – not just those at the top. Help people to be great by assisting them in shedding the distractions that drag them down.



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