So most of the world has been in some form of social distancing or isolation for over the past month. Depending on the country (and more importantly the leaders of that country, some places have turned a corner and are ‘flattening the curve.’ Essentially what this means is that the number of infections from the pandemic have started to plateau and reduce, which is a very positive sign.
When people are in insolation, many of them will experience emotional highs and lows. One minute you will be enjoying a bit of extra time at home in the yard or with the kids and the next you will be thinking (and worrying) about the impact on your income and your finances. This creates an emotional roller coaster that can be difficult for people to stay productive due to the impact of fear that can become a bit overwhelming.
So what are you doing as a leader to help flatten the emotional curve that many of your people will be experiencing? There are a number of ways you can do this to provide some stability to your people, even in the virtual world.
Connect Regularly: As a leader it can be easy to stay busy and assume that everyone else is also staying busy (and productive). The better approach is to reach out and connect regularly with your people. I did this with a colleague this week and as soon as we started talking over the phone I could hear the relief in her voice. It was as if she needed a little boost and a 20 minute talk and refocus helped her to rise above some of the challenging emotions that she was experiencing.
Share Stories & Have a Real Conversation. When something that is large enough to change the patterns and normal behaviours of the entire population occurs it is a massive moment in time. Rather than having the typical surface conversations, ensure that you are having some REAL conversations with people. Ask them about how they are going, what they are doing to pass the time, and share some of your frustrations and challenges that you are having. Some of the most admired leaders share past stories of what they did to overcome obstacles, which is needed now more than ever! This creates a stronger bond as people can relate more to the leader that is real.
Create Virtual Shared Experiences. I am involved with a number of different work groups. With one of them we have a 30-60minute zoom call every Friday for ‘virtual drinks.’ We spend the time sharing ideas and stories and laughing. We are also doing this with my extended family. We have weekly zoom family calls and have created a twist. Last week we had a bake off with everyone baking things and dropping them off to others complete with a scoring sheet and a Baking Grand Champion. These shared experiences will help you flatten the emotional curve for your people.
In May, I will be launching my new Leadership Academy which is a 12 month online program that will enable leaders to access a number of courses and modules that include videos, downloadable resources and activity checklists that you can use to help navigate and stay effective as a leader.
If you would like to find out more, please click here and we will reach out to you with more information.