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Director Supporting Struggling Consultants....

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
I'm trying to figure out my role as director/friend/mother figure...:rolleyes:

I have a consultant on my team who is such a sweetheart. She just celebrated her 1 year anniversary with PC, and has always been a consistent seller. Not a Rock Star - but always consistent. She is active every month, and one month was even my top seller! She's young, 24 (that's young to me, okay?), married, and works FT as the Exec. Ass't for a Baby Products Co, so she's busy too.

She has confided in me some of her background - raised by an alcoholic mom...lots of chaos growing up, and now is married to a guy who is negative and discouraging, and seems to exhibit all of the characteristics of also being an alcoholic. She has had NO support from any of her family in her business, and has in fact been discouraged by many of them. She's quiet by nature, and they've played on that - "How could you do this, you could never talk in front of people" etc....

I've spent a lot of time coaching her - the first time I tried to do a role-play with her - she cried! That's how scared she was! I am so so so proud of how far she's come, and how, even though it hasn't been easy for her, she has stepped out of her comfort zone time and again. I think PC may be one of the only places she has where she is encouraged and made to feel appreciated.

At my team meeting Monday night, she seemed very quiet (more than usual) and just seemed sad. I gave her a hug as she left, and told her if she needed any extra help with anything to just give me a call or email.

This morning, she emailed me with a question about something else, but then at the end of the email, she said that she was sorry about Monday night, but she just had a lot of issues going on at home, and so had a lot on her mind.


Now - I'm trying to figure out how to respond. I feel like she is reaching out to me on a personal level, and I'm just trying to figure out what my role/relationship should be. Technically, I'm old enough to be her Mother, and I'm feeling a bit maternal at this point. I guess she's made a place in my heart, because I see how hard she's worked to prove her family wrong, and to make a success of her business, and because she's just a little cutie with a wicked sense of humor. :D


So - do any of you get involved personally with your consultants, or do you keep it on a more professional level?
 

finley1991

Veteran Member
Jul 11, 2006
1,721
2
This is a difficult situation because PC is so unique... we do get involved with our consultants on a personal level.

I try not to though as we are involved in a business relationship but sometimes it happens!

If someone is struggling with something at home, I try to suggest they talk to their priest or pastor or some kind of professional. I'm not a professional but at the same time, if someone needs to talk, I'm here to listen and that's all I do... I try not to offer advice. Sometimes people just need to vent and get it out and they're fine... other times they do need help that I'm not qualified to give them.
 

ChefBeckyD

Legend Member
Gold Member
Sep 20, 2005
20,466
33
One thing I've wondered about is suggesting to her or helping her find an Al/Anon meeting? I think she could really benefit from others dealing with some of the same issues at home.
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,425
84
I try really hard to respect the privacy of others and not do a 20 questions game to pry info from them that they really didn't want to share. Something my Grandmother never learned and it drove me crazy when she would pick at someone's wound until it bled. I try to follow a more laid back approach of "I'm not going to pry, but if you need a shoulder to cry on or just need to vent, I'll be happy to listen. ;)" That way it opens the door to the fact that I am receptive but hopefully they don't feel pressured to elaborate if they aren't ready to do that. The fact that she mentioned it indicates that she knows that you sensed something is wrong. I think it's a good idea to let her know that you are concerned, but without the pressure that she needs to elaborate & tell you what's going on. My background in Police Dispatching and being a military wife has afforded me the opportunity of a LOT of training on suicidal thoughts & tendencies. If things have been super bad in her past and you are sensing issues in the home, just keep her in your thoughts & make sure that she knows you are there for her. If for some reason it does turn out that something has happened to really send her over the edge, knowing that someone is there to support her and hold her hand can be a lifesaver! Most people dealing with that type of depression don't say "hey, I'm tired and thinking about ending it all" ... they throw out little hints here & there about problems in the hope that someone will pick up on it & show that they care. ;) And you obviously care or you wouldn't be bringing it up here! :D

(((hugs))) I hope you figure out a way to convey your concern in a manner that's helpful to her.
 

baychef

Senior Member
Silver Member
Mar 27, 2005
2,906
43
Sheila, you said what I wanted to say only better! I agree that there are times we are a shoulder to lean on. We support and coach because it does effect their business because it effects their attitude. Plus our business is relationship building. There is a line, of course, but I too would make sure she knows she has a sounding board that has little connection to the family.
 

PamperedChefDebi

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Feb 11, 2006
1,192
0
I totally agree with Sheila and Ann. Knowing SOMEONE cares on ANY level may mean the WORLD to her right now. I think Sheila's words were perfect.
 

Sheila

Legend Member
Gold Member
Mar 26, 2008
5,425
84
hearts.gif
Thanks girls!
hearts.gif
 

cincychef

Advanced Member
Jul 18, 2007
596
1
I think everyone gave great advice. The only thing I wanted to add is you sound like a great director and I think you are doing everything right if she feels like she can talk to you. Over the years I have become really good friends with my director and we talk about a wide range of things.
 
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