{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "One of my colleagues had a family tragedy recently and hasn't been pulling their weight on the team. How do I balance being empathetic and needing them to perform better?", "post_id": "61a64dee72d5c70035ba0772", "reply_count": 13, "vote_count": 12, "bowl_id": "55375ce690f5eebe1d2a0f88", "bowl_name": "Tech" }

One of my colleagues had a family tragedy recently and hasn't been pulling their weight on the team. How do I balance being empathetic and needing them to perform better?

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Sheesh, I'd hate to be your colleague. Give them time to heal and don't be that jerk that thinks a loss can easily be overcome.


Wow. How about asking how you/the team/company can support them?? And securing back up resources to cover them? You describe it as a "tragedy." Surely that deserves compassion and support?


This is a tough situation but I understand where you’re coming from. I actually don’t think you should speak directly to your colleague and perhaps just share how you’re feeling with your manager - and more from a place of concern. Explain that from your observations your colleague may need additional support or time off to work through this difficult period and that perhaps shifting work around to deprioritize/descope this person may help since there’s still work that needs to happen and don’t want to put additional undue pressure on your colleague. I know this sounds exhausting but I feel it may be the best path forward. Your manager may go to HR and find a way to get additional resources for your colleague. Good luck!!


IMO not if you preface that you’re coming from a place of empathy, and genuine concern…

It sounds like there needs to be someone to take over their role while they take some time off.


I don't see how these two points are conflicted. If you ARE empathetic and truly like the person to perform better, you'd do your best to help them overcome their situation, or at least try helping them "perform better", instead of just complaining here. From your words only thing we can tell is that you want to act like a nasty person without looking like one.


Yeah, that’s how I read it too. I think OP would have phrased it in a much harsher way if they actually intended for it to be harsh. Just looking for advice which, like you said, is what this platform is for.

Check with your HR on how the company could support or manage the situation for him, while helping him to manage his performance targets. You, of course, would be a part of the overall solution, if you manage him, but there are specific things/programs/professional resources that the company has or could pull in for every individual case. A good HR generalist would know whom to further tap for developing a solution. That’s one of the things they actually do. And they know how to be supersensitive and supportive. They can even train you too. Don’t do something which you are not an expert in, while there are people specifically specializing in this on a corporate payroll. Get the right resources for the problem at hand. That’s what good managers do.


Unless you are their direct manager I don't think it is your place to be anything by empathetic. Let your manager know. If they are a good manager they will help both of you, your coworker work through the tragedy and either adjust the workload to shift resources to help you out.


I know it helps when I bury myself in my work but every person is different in how they deal with difficult times.

ask mgmt to solve any workload issues.

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