Schatzie Brunner Presenteeism F“Presenteeism” is a word few people know but it encompasses the concept of not “being tuned in.”

Throughout the years I was at CNN there were many days when I would come into work and work for a full day simply going through the motions. And maybe you know someone where you work who seems distracted and not as productive as they have been in the past.

When a person is depressed or anxious they can function to a certain degree but they aren’t giving the job, their family, or their friends their full attention because in fact they are unable to. It is more than being distracted. They may not remember conversations or choices they’ve made from their “List of things to do.” Or they may seem jittery or irritable at the small annoyances in life when they wouldn’t have reacted that way before.

These are important markers that may indicate a person is depressed or becoming depressed without their even knowing it.

If you feel it is appropriate, you might ask them how they are doing. When they answer it is your opportunity to really listen to them even if they may say “oh, it’s nothing” or “oh, I’m ok.”  Listening could be the biggest gift you could give them. And you can always suggest they talk to someone if it feels as if they might hear you.