Something is happening at work and it’s very unsettling. Everyone on my immediate team feels it, but no one knows exactly what is going on. When we ask our manager, he says we’re imagining things and that we should just stay focused on our work. But all of us are feeling this way. Any suggestions? A.S., New York, NY
Your gut may be right. Be careful, though, not to assume that it’s true because everyone “feels it.” Take a step back. Do you think your concern has infected your team and now they’re parroting back your feelings? Emotional contagion is a very real condition.
Staying focused during times of ambiguity is tough. It’s important, though, not to waste your energy on what you can’t control. When thoughts about what is going on enter your mind, or if the conversation turns to that topic, make a conscious effort to shift the subject. There’s no benefit and a very real downside to pondering with no chance of resolution.
Your manager gave you good advice. Stay focused on doing a good job. If something is in fact going on, he has indicated he can’t share anything about it right now. But the fact that you’ve raised the question will makes sure he does share information with you when he can.