Reacting to a panicked co-worker
One priority: get your co-worker to take a pause, to relieve his agitation.
It's impossible for him to find a solution and get out of his
negative spiral if he doesn't take the time to step back. You could
suggest getting a coffee, going outside for some fresh air...
the important thing is to reduce the immediate pressure.
Help them to get perspective
Once the tension has dropped a bit you can help him, by means of
a few simple questions, to study the situation calmly and to see it
from a different angle: "What is the principal problem?
What are your fears at this stage? What are you lacking? What
have you already done? How can I help you?..." Once the situation has
been clarified it will be easier to search together for a
solution, an avenue of action.
Stress is provoked by the feeling of not being able to face
things, of being powerless, and those around us are an important source
of comfort. It's a matter of showing your co-worker that he
is not alone and that it is your responsibility to help him, to
provide operational and even moral support if necessary.