At work, we often take things at face value and fail to see the hardships someone faces every day. Sometimes a person doesn't fight a battle with the strength of their biceps, but they must turn inward to find their mental and emotional power.
For example, when Sally returned to work after her dad passed away, Sally was still very emotional and found it very difficult to cope with the whole experience. Finally, after a couple of days, her manager asked Sally, "what's the problem" Sally indicated that her dad recently died, and the whole experience was so challenging to deal with. Her manager replied, 'everyone dies, so get over it."
It often boggles my mind the people selected or recruited into management or leadership positions. How can anyone be so insensitive? As leaders, it's so important to create a great and safe work environment that allows people to reach out for help. We are surrounded by people who are silently battling daily but show up every day at work, trying to make the best of it. Someone may be fighting addiction, have a sick child at home, dealing with the death of a loved one, or maybe a single parent fighting every day to hold their home together.
We don't know, and we may never know, which is why you should always show respect and kindness to everyone. There are amazing and strong people who show up for work every day, giving it their all to help their organization fulfill its purpose but silently fighting battles we know nothing about.