Planning for the Conversation

When planning for the conversation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your intention to have a formal conversation with the staff member or a “fireside chat”?

  • Are you the best person to be having the conversation?

  • Is there anyone else who should be involved in the conversation?  If you aren’t sure, call and discuss with an Occupational Health Advisor

  • When is the right time to have a conversation with your staff member?

  • Are you in a good space and can you listen genuinely?

  • Do you have enough time for the conversation, e.g., if you are rushing off to a meeting in 15 minutes, it is probably not a good time to be starting the conversation.

  • Do you have an appropriate, private space where you can have the conversation?

  • Decide on your goals for the conversation ahead of time. For example: are you going to just listen, are you going to offer support, are you going to offer resources? 

  • Do you know where and how to access resources to support someone struggling with a mental health issue? 

  • Be prepared for the individual’s emotional response. For example, they may be sad, angry, or embarrassed. 

  • Be prepared that the conversation might be a difficult one and you may not have all the answers.

  • If a mental health concern is suspected, it would be useful to have the EFAP information and OH&S contact (name, number, fax number) information available to give the staff member.

Last updated Thu, Sep 21, 2017