Have you ever been surprised by a reaction to your leadership? It’s easy when the reaction is positive and enthusiastic. A positive reaction might be a confirmation you are on the right track.

However, what about when the response you get is the sound of crickets? What about the time’s things explode unexpectedly?

There are so many things which can be going on when the response is so negative – A lack of alignment, too much work in progress, a lack of trust, and so much more.

There’s one more we do not often discuss. Mental health. It’s a big problem and essential for leaders to be conscious of.

Far too often, the stigma and fears associated with mental health make the conversation challenging. Challenging for the person with a health concern and also for the leader.

Start by listening to them. Be curious, empathetic and open.

Do not worry about trying to fix them or make them feel better. Acknowledge how the person is feeling remembering this is real to them.

Do not be afraid to ask if they are thinking about suicide. Asking this question will not make someone act on their suicidal thoughts.

Ask them if they are getting professional help and if necessary, help them get it.

When people respond in unexpected ways, don’t take it personally. Look at what is trying to happen. You never know what’s right below the surface.

You never know, you might save someone’s life today.

You’ve got this.1