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6 Per Hour-137 Per Day-Thousands Per Year

6 per hour. 

What do you think this is about?  It’s related to this one: 137 per day—these are the statistics regarding the number of women killed by a partner or family member around the globe and the numbers are rising according to the UN study. 6 per hour.

What does this have to do with workplace communication?

We are the same human beings at work, at home, and out in the community so what happens to us in one place affects us everywhere.  You don’t always know what others are going through because humans are good at hiding things. People may lash out for seemingly no reason while others mask depression or physical pain. A person’s job title and success do not determine the type of challenges they face. It’s time to practice patience and kindness consistently at work because you never know if one of these victims or abusers is in the chair next to you or what hell they are in. 6 per hour.

Empathy is a Superpower

Humans have this amazing superpower called empathy and when we put action behind it, the result is compassion. It’s that simple but it’s hard as &*#@ most of the time because we have our own stuff going on.  The great news is that it gets more natural, easier, and automatic the more we do it. Think about one person at work that hasn’t seemed like herself lately. What is one small thing you can do to show her compassion without knowing specifics? Can you give her a longer lunch or let her leave 30 minutes early one day this week?  How about saying “good morning” and smiling every day—to her and everyone in your office?  If you’re up for something bigger, consider this question, “Is there something I can do to make your day easier?”  Little things mean a lot and they tell the other person, I see you, you matter, I care. That sentiment and display of empathy are often more than enough. 6 per hour.

A Good Example

When you show compassion it gets noticed by your whole team and it helps create a warm, pleasant workplace.  There will always be people who pull out the no-fair card or poke fun at your ‘new BFF’ so take the opportunity to set another good example and let nay-sayers know that you’ll be there for them when they need it.  This can feel tricky so be professional and ask yourself, “would I be willing to do this for everyone at work?”  You must be able and willing to do the same or very similar for everyone—this goes for leaders and peers. It’s another reason why keeping it simple and consistent will be beneficial. People want to matter and the more we invest in one another, the better quality of work we’ll all do, and the more successful our businesses, projects, and clients will be. Empowering someone at work may be the boost they need to make changes in other areas of life.  6 per hour.

Be Prepared

Know your resources before you, or someone you know, needs them—even if you are not a supervisor.  Local first responder numbers are important to have ready in case 911 is down. Please understand the resources your company offers, like Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), and how to engage with them.  Have numbers like the National Suicide Prevention and National Domestic Violence hotlines on hand along with some local groups or shelters.  Put all the resources on one piece of paper to get around awkward assumptions and have several copies in your desk and posted in restrooms and break stations.  Mention them regularly in team meetings and remind folks that they can snap a quick picture or take it off the wall.  You must comply with any company/HR policies and please do not push this information on anyone; simply make it available and open for discussion.  6 per hour.

Pretending we can’t show compassion, kindness, and patience at work because we don’t want them to be misinterpreted is an easy excuse.  Think about your family and friends—what would you want for them at their workplace?  6 per hour.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-8255

National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)

List of common national hotline numbers:

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