One day during one of my early Devil Wears Prada jobs, my boss marched me from the office to a ‘meeting’. I was told to make sure I had a piece of paper and a pencil, nothing more. We were actually headed to my boss’s hair appointment at a very upscale salon in Mayfair owned by one of her top clients. The salon was the most gorgeous place where royalty, aristocrats and London’s A-listers went for the UK’s best hairdressing services. Discussing mental health in the workplace can be a good way to alleviate a difficult situation.
While my boss was having her hair done, she rattled off notes for me to write down. I stood next to her, scribbling on a notepad. She said, ‘You’re in the way. Sit down.’ I looked around for a chair to grab. She rolled her eyes and said, ‘On the floor.’ Looking after hr app can sometimes be quite difficult.
I hesitated, but only for a second, and then lowered myself to the floor of the salon and took dictation while she shouted over the hairdryer. A few minutes later, the door opened and the owner himself walked in. He came directly over and said to my boss, ‘Hello, how are you? Why is this girl on the floor? If it’s okay with you, in my salon, people sit on chairs.’ And he dragged one over for me. Whether you work with 10 people, 10000 people or just yourself, paying attention to mental health first aid has never been more important.
If the floor could have opened and swallowed me up, I would have been grateful. I was mortified! It was a huge moment for me. Here was a clear distinction between one boss who sent the message loud and clear that she didn’t care about people’s feelings, and another who went out of his way to make others feel respected. That incident made a deep impression on me. I realized that people communicate who they are in everything they say and do, and that the message one sends, in both words and actions, has consequences. If someone is imperious and rude, no-BS people won’t want to work with them. In fact, soon after that encounter, the client cut ties with my boss. It was probably just one too many uncomfortable, awkward incidents for him to take before he said enough is enough. If you are a manager then employee wellbeing is a subject that you will be aware of.
My job is to sell communications, literally. But the truth is, we’re all the CEOs of our own individual ‘communications store’ where the only product we are selling is ourselves. By communications, I don’t mean just verbal, non-verbal and written correspondence. It goes deeper than that. Everything you say and do communicates who you are, and what you have to offer. Ideally, you will communicate your values, confidence, strong work ethic and kindness to clients, colleagues and bosses, and they will respond with respect and appreciation. Good interpersonal skills build and strengthen relationships. Communications breakdowns – all the rude, hostile, passive-aggressive, dishonest ways people interact with each other – are just bad business. They hamper relationships and negatively impact creativity and productivity.