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What Chat GPT Got Wrong About Employee Death and What It Got Right

I've been using ChatGPT quite a bit. ChatGPT is a viral AI language tool for its human-like conversations and more. I used it to turn a LinkedIn Live audio into three newsletters (you can join my newsletter list).

The more you chat with ChatGPT, the smarter it gets, which is both fantastic and a bit eerie. It pulls from information on the web.

I decided to test it by asking it to answer a question at the very center of my business.

"How do I manage a grieving team?"

Here is what it said.

"Here are some steps you can follow to support a grieving team:

  1. Create a safe and supportive environment: Encourage team members to talk about their feelings and provide a space where they feel comfortable expressing their emotions.

  2. Listen actively: Let team members know you are there to support them and listen to their concerns and feelings.

  3. Offer resources: Provide information on counseling services, support groups, and other resources that may be helpful to team members during this difficult time.

  4. Be flexible: Be understanding if team members need time off or accommodations to help them cope with their grief.

  5. Lead by example: Practice self-care and encourage team members to do the same. Model a healthy approach to grief and encourage others to care for themselves during this time.

  6. Be patient: Grief can be a long and difficult process, and everyone may handle it differently. Be patient and understanding as team members work through their feelings.

  7. Maintain communication: Regularly check in with team members to see how they are doing and offer support as needed.

Remember that everyone grieves differently, so it's important to be compassionate and non-judgmental as you support your team during this challenging time."

Not bad, right?

But it was missing something crucial.


  1. How do you create a supportive environment when grieving as a leader?

  2. How do you listen actively when all you can think about is the work that someone needs to do so you can meet your KPIs?

  3. What other resources can you offer your team beyond the less-than-stellar support of your company's EAP?

  4. How do you show flexibility when you still have deadlines to meet?

  5. How do you model "good grief" when you are just as freaked out as everyone else?

  6. How do you show patience and have that performance conversation you must have?

  7. What exactly do you communicate?

We are inundated with the what, but we need the how! The how is where leaders struggle: figuring out how.

Figuring out the what is key, but the how is crucial.

Do you have a Managing through Loss and Grief Leadership Playbook? Do you know how you will manage grief on your team when it starts to affect performance? No? Then let's chat!

Death happens. Prepare and give your leaders the tools to deal with the how.

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