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    Marcel Schwantes and Robb Holman: Grieving Is the Pathway to Resilience (Ep #182)
    Marcel Schwantes and Robb Holman: Grieving Is the Pathway to Resilience

    Robb Holman is back to co-host alongside Marcel Schwantes as they go through the rarely discussed business topic of grieving. Grief has a big effect on employees at work, and Robb gives helpful tips on how organizations can be more helpful during this time.


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    Show Notes

    • “The true cost of grief in the workplace is often underestimated.” [4:55] Robb walks through what The Recovery Village says about grieving at work. Employees must schedule support and flexibility around grief, but many workplaces fail to address these needs openly. Daily stress levels of grieving employees can lead to poor decision-making and increased risk for things like addiction and injury.
    • “In order for people to be productive, we’ve got to nurture the heart.” [8:53] Robb and Marcel discuss a real-life example of how grief affected a manager at work and the importance of bereavement leave policies. Grieving people need the time and space to get well. In a healthy workplace, people huddle around and support those in need. 
    • “If we want to be resilient, grieving is a topic of conversation that needs to be infused into that. If we don’t, if we just continue in the name of resilience, we will run dry.” [12:02] Robb discusses the importance of leaders being in touch with their own grief and mental health. When leaders have a handle on what’s happening in their personal lives, they can show up better and provide more support for their staff. 
    • “I think everyone grieves differently.” [13:29]   Robb highlights four unique ways people react to and deal with grief in their lives. For some, it is a very physical process. Others prefer talking to a friend or a professional or grieving through prayer and meditation. Marcel touches on the importance of finding a supportive community.
    • “The biggest resource I can offer somebody right now… is to find a support community.” [14:34]  Marcel talks about what someone can find by coming to an environment where there are people to support them and love on them through the grieving process.
    • “If we want to make sure to greatly serve, encourage, and support those on our team and in our lives, it starts with each one of us.” [16:42]  It’s important to be aware of the different types of grieving, some of which are more subtle. Grieving doesn’t always mean someone died. Layoffs and job losses can be tragic event to process, especially if you’re the primary earner in the family. Other tragic non-death events include divorce, moving to a new location, and drastic workplace changes.
    • “The most aspirational aspect of leadership is to look at the whole person and not just as an employee.” [21:34] Marcel talks about how a leader shouldn’t look at employees as an 8 am–5 pm transaction. If things aren’t going well at home, it will likely disrupt them in the workplace. Taking the time to find out what’s going on in their employees’ lives helps leaders be better sources of support.
    • “Remain committed with your team members, with your people, to engage in an ongoing process of how they’re feeling throughout the change.” [25:24]  Robb answers the mailbag segment about how to support employees through a merger or an acquisition. A willingness to be honest with emotions allows leaders to enter into a shared space with their team, which helps them feel less alone. Marcel touches on how leaders sometimes lose their identity and the importance of returning to shared values. 

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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