Setting: A screenshot of a text exchange between two business monsters, Bubble (represented by a round bubble avatar) and manager Shroom (represented by a one-eyed mushroom avatar).
Bubble: Sorry I didn’t get this done sooner. There’s been so much going on with BlobFamily and…
Shroom: You do good work, Bubble.
Bubble: I don’t feel like I’m doing very good work lately…
Shroom: Yeah, but you do good work. You know it, I know it. So what if you can’t do your best work right now? That just means you’ve got other things going on that need your attention more. It happens.
Decreased output from a normally consistent employees isn’t a sign of a sudden performance problem that needs corrected, it’s a sign that your employee is struggling and needs support.
Author’s Note: I had this exact same conversation with my manager earlier this year (I was Bubble). In a time where I had been worrying about everything, his practical honesty really helped put things into perspective.