My Advisors Can’t Handle the Stress

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Readers – I have received several questions about advisors unable to behave appropriately during this stressful time. This relates to emotional intelligence (EQ), so I am posting them and with one answer to all.

Dear Bev,

I recognize some things that weren’t a big deal before this crisis are magnified. I am keeping this in perspective. But I lead a very successful advisory practice and have been appalled at the behavior of some of my senior advisors during this time. I have one with a home in Hilton Head. He fled the city to stay there. During our team calls, he references being out on his bike and enjoying the island, or playing a game of golf on his golf course. I have younger team members and they are all scared and stressed about what is happening. Sending the message that everything is alright and we should be enjoying ourselves is not helpful. Is there a tactful way I can tell him see he isn’t being very considerate of our team right now? – G.M.

Dear Bev,

One of my senior advisors (“Lucy”) is an older woman who lives alone. She has never married nor had children and took care of her aged mother for many years before she passed away three years ago. She is the classic “married to the job” person. We live in a place where we are under strict orders to shelter-in-place. We have to visit our office to collect mail and take care of in-office things. But I have created a schedule so that no more than two people are there each day and only during scheduled hours.

I have a responsibility to my team and to our community to keep them safe. Every single day a team member goes in, Lucy is sitting at her desk making calls and doing her work. She says she is lonely and bored at home and feels better in the office. You might say she could be the one to pick up the mail and do the administrative things necessary. But when I suggested this, she refuses to do “menial work” and says she is continuing to do the important work of advising.