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Submitted by mircohering on


Hi all,

i have a really tricky and delicate situation at hand. A direct of mine has a familiy matter that includes a sick familiy member, possibly even terminal ill.

As a first step i was able to free him from work (and man he is valuable to my project and will be missed) so that he can spend time with his family. As we are fairly close but professional i think he does trust me and i would like to help.

He is really unlucky, his partner left him a few weeks back, he has a financial issue due to credit card fraud and crashed his car lately. I would really like to offer help, but feel that i am intruding into his private sphere or that he feel obliged to take my offer just because he works for me. I dont want him to feel uncomfortable because of me offering help (whether it is just to talk, or help with some money or help organising things)

How would someone approach this situation?

Thanks for your help in advance,


bug_girl's picture

Simply say "What can I do to be supportive and help you? It seems like you've really had a tough time lately.  I'm really sorry."

If he then says he doesn't want help, that is his choice.

Either way, he knows you know, and are feeling for him.  And you did your best.

tlhausmann's picture
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I am sorry to hear about your direct. As a manger times like this are inevitable. It is good that you have a trusting relationship so that you know what is going on. There is a cast (2 parts) you may find helpful.

Your focus as manager is the work. Keep communicating (provide feedback) and reaching out to your directs. Bear in mind also that on-going personal problems affecting work become work problems.

I believe you will find the podcast very helpful.