Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: I'm a new father and returned to work three weeks after my son was born.

He's now four months old and because he's teething, I'm only getting three or four hours' sleep a night. I feel dreadful and anxious because I'm not able to do my best. I'm worried I'm going to get pulled up on it and I don't know what to do. Have you any advice?

A: The chances are the nagging fear that you're underperforming is now affecting your performance at least as much as the lack of sleep itself You can't do much about the sleep but you can do something about the fear. If you wait until you're 'pulled up' before you reveal your entirely blameless circumstances, it will inevitably seem as if you're trying to hide behind excuses. You need to take the initiative.

So before it gets to that stage, you should have a thoughtful word with your line manager - or whoever is your direct report.

Explain about your son and his teething and your seriously disturbed sleep patterns - and your growing concern that all this might affect your work. …

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