At present it feels that there is much fear around as we hear repeated news updates about the spread of the coronavirus, here and world wide.
It is a hugely challenging time for employers and business owners and many of you have had to make decisions which have major implications for your company and employees.
There have been businesses closed abruptly, in others there have been people laid off and working from home has become the new norm. There have been huge changes in the world as we once knew it. However, I strongly feel that we need to keep our feet on the ground about it all. Yes the virus is spreading and we need to do what we can to prevent the further spread and also to do what we can to ensure our businesses and workplaces manage and adapt.
It’s important, in my view to seek to find ways to be resilient, to dig deep and look at how we can find support for ourselves and each other to navigate this current worldwide issue.Some of the issues that I see as emerging for leaders are:
Managing Fear -there is a lot of fear and panic and people are finding it difficult to switch off and relax and also to engage with the work we do have to do. Have a look at my blog below for more tips on managing fear.
Isolation -many are working from home and this can be isolating. We’re no longer meeting as much in person and for those who need to self isolate it can be especially hard going. It is a time to maximise the technology and ensure that we do connect and reduce this isolation. This remote working is the new norm and we are recognising that much can be achieved whilst working remotely -remember employees do need support to sustain this
Difficult Conversations -many of you have had to have difficult conversations with staff about the impact of the current situation. Its important to acknowledge this for yourself and remember the basic communication skills to help get the message across. In particular my own sense is that if our intention is clear whilst we stay compassionate -we will get the message across.
The Fear -what we can do
Some say, like crime, that the fear of the virus is worse than the virus itself. Not only is there fear of the actual virus but also the implications for your business.
Fear isn’t good for our health, it takes its toll on our bodies and lowers our immunity. Plus it makes it very hard to be creative. We need to find ways to counteract the fear without being careless. Some ways I would suggest include:
1)Practice being grounded -this could mean meditating, walking, getting out into nature and feeling the ground under your feet. Other practices such as cooking, sport or whatever we do to engage our bodies can also be grounding. But inner practices such as meditating, yoga and pilates are particularly important at this time to ensure we stay centred in ourselves and to access our deeper more spiritual resources.
2) Remember our health is not static but is something we can support and influence through our lifestyles, the food we eat, the exercise we take and also through our thoughts and feelings. Neuroscience is now clearly demonstrating that how we feel and think about anything affects the outcome. Let’s use this to our advantage and decide that we are going to build our health at this time and to respond creatively and resiliently to this current crisis.
3) Let’s find ways to collaborate with each other at this current time. We can use this time to network, share resources and perhaps check up on a colleague or someone who might need our help or support.
4) Be mindful of our conversations, our choice of words and thoughts. The more we talk about the virus, the more we give strength to our fear . We can choose what we give our attention to, whilist we need to stay informed, seek out the good things that are happening in the midst of this crisis, communities coming together, people tapping more in to their best selves.
Personally, it helps me to remember that we are not alone in this. It is affecting almost everyone the world over and many in very drastic ways. Things are changing and we can only trust and believe that we will come out of this period in history stronger and more resilient and more in touch with whats really important.
Do get in touch if you or you know anyone who would benefit from some online psychological and emotional support. I have some some availability for low cost and also pro bono work at this difficult time.
This current crisis presents an opportunity to tap in to our strengths and become the best version of ourselves for our own sake and that of our families and workplaces.
In the meantime be well, take care and do what you can to connect and spend time with yourselves and your families and communities -at a distance of course!