How are you, really?

The standard “I’m fine” can use some help, and so could you. How often do we say, I’m fine when we aren’t? Commemorating World Mental Health Day on October 10, this month, let’s focus on the art of honest check-ins.

We are all dealing with something, however big or small - we simply need to let each other know. The natural way to get started is to be intentional while checking in with colleagues. 

People often shy away from talking about their mental health struggles with their colleagues due to the fear of coming across as unprofessional or be seen as weak or incapable. A recent EY survey, published in Harvard Business Review found that more than 40% of US respondents felt physically and emotionally isolated at work. 

These statistics indicate that many people want more connections with colleagues. In a set-ting like this, an intentional ‘How are you doing?’ comes into the picture. Here are some small steps you could take in your work week and initiate an honest check-in. 

Seize the small moments

Being present and seize small daily moments to connect. Maybe start your daily stand-up with a mental health check-in that goes beyond I’m fine. Try to genuinely care and ask follow-up questions, an honest “I’m here to support you if you need me”, goes a long way in any setting. 

Keep your biases in check

Lend a patient ear. Understand if they need advice or just want someone to talk to. Don’t jump to conclusions or persuade them to follow a solution you think may be right for them. 

Allow room for vulnerability

Appreciate people opening up to you and being vulnerable. Create a safe space for them where they feel comfortable. If you feel like it, share your experiences with them too. 

Be consistent and accountable

Treat these check-ins with the same importance you give your deadlines. Be consistent and accountable. Set a day aside each month to chat about things that are not just about work. By acknowledging each other at a personal and professional level, we can help build a community that collectively feels valued and connected. 

We want to make sure that everyone at Atlas Professionals knows not only what mental health benefits and resources are available to them and how to access them, but also want to create a culture where it is safe and normal to talk about the challenges, we are all facing.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the HR team on hope to continue our efforts beyond this pandemic and Mental Health awareness days. 

We are in this together.