One of the biggest mistakes stressed-out supervisors make when dealing with troubled employees is to engage in “enabling behaviors” that perpetuate a destructive status quo. Answer these questions to assess whether you're enabling your most disturbed employees:

___ Do you catch yourself downplaying inappropriate behavior by employees?

___ Do you try to deny or ignore red flags that they may be in trouble?

___ Do you prefer to be agreeable and not make waves with a troubled employee?

___ When talking with your boss, do you minimize a trouble employee's condition?

___ Do you give extra leeway to a troubled employee or give him/her special treatment?

___ When a troubled employee tries to open up to you, do you jump in and give reassurance that “everything's okay” or “you'll be just fine”?

___ Do you gloss over performance problems when administering a formal appraisal?

___ Do you do extra work to cover for the employee's inability to perform effectively?

If you answered “yes” to three or more questions, you're in danger of enabling employees instead of helping them get professional counseling.