Hamish and Conrad – the latest trainee to join FFS – are getting out of a black cab in front of the office after a successful new client meeting. There is complete silence, and Hamish is unsure how to respond after Conrad started crying during the journey.
As they turn towards the building he puts his hand on Conrad’s shoulder: ‘Let’s get a coffee, I’ll call and let them know we’re delayed after the meeting.” Conrad just nods, and lets himself be guided into the cafe close by.
Once seated with coffees in front of them, Hamish tries again, asking Conrad what he thinks is the issue. He reminds Conrad that he’s become a lot quieter since he joined, and has also been coming in late sometimes, again not really like him.
Conrad doesn’t cry this time, but stays quiet, pulling apart the napkin in front of him. “This is in confidence Conrad, nobody needs to know anything, it’s between us,” Hamish reassures him. Conrad takes a deep breath and then it pours out: how being a trainee is not at all what he expected, that he feels very under pressure to perform and that he’s being judged, that he feels tired all the time but can’t sleep, and that he feels anxious about his work and his ability to do it well.
Hamish lets him speak, and tells him he’s glad Conrad had the faith in him to tell him how he’s feeling. ‘Let’s think about what we should do next,” he says. “Let’s meet again in a few days’ time to see if we can come up with a plan.”
How should Hamish take the situation forward?
What do you think is the best way to handle a colleague’s mental health issue? How do you think firms should deal with it?
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