Lesson 011: Managing distracted employees
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 2/16 ('Q Who')


The Borg attack the Enterprise - the shields are down, phasers and photon torpedoes are proving useless in stopping the Borg attack and 18 crew members are killed in the attack.

Chief Engineer, LaForge and his team are desperately trying to get the shields back on line.

A fresh new recruit, just having come on board is now facing trial under fire. She is overwhelmed by the death of the 18 crew members and is unable to concentrate on the repair work underway.

LaForge, in the midst of the flurry of activities, tells the new recruit that they will grieve for their fallen comrades later, but for now she must focus only on getting the shields back on line.


While the scenario here is very melodramatic and we can forgive the new recruit for being distracted from her work, we do, however, get to see here management getting control of the situation and bringing focus back to the more exigent matter at hand.

We all get distracted from our work from time to time while at our job.

If the distraction is due to personal issues, such as perhaps the death of a loved one, relationship problems, personal financial crisis, etc., management needs to show empathy to the individual and give them a little time and room to adjust to their respective dilemma.

However, if the allotment of personal time might cause irreparable harm to the business, then the LaForge method of refocusing on the work first and then attending to personal issues later should be exercised.

If the distraction is due to a work related issue, such as working conditions, company rumors, another employee, etc. then management must take the initiative to resolve the issue personally and realign everyone's focus back on the company's business.

Back to lessons in Management

Disclaimer: This website is not associated or endorsed by Paramount Pictures or CBS Studios Inc., the owners of the Star Trek trademarks, related marks and copyrights. References to Star Trek material on this web site complies with the Fair or Acceptable Use Principle established in the U.S. and International copyright law for the purposes of review, study, criticism and news reporting. No copyright infringement is intended by this website. All original work provided on this website is the sole copyrighted property of and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written permission from