At different times in our lives we have all been through adversity. This current time is testing even the best leaders. Why? Because the situation is evolving, what seems like, every minute. Both traditional and non-traditional media sources are monitoring the changes of this pandemic all the time and communicating information at us constantly. We also live in a world, where people are scared to make the wrong choice. Here are my recommendations for how to support people through these uncertain times.
1- Educate yourself
In a world of information there are so many sources of information it can be hard to know what is right and what is misleading. Sources such as the World Health Organization or your local Public Health Department are a good place to start. One of the best ways to support people, and one of the best things you can do for yourself is to educate yourself with as much REAL information as possible. The information should be fact based and regularly reviewed.
2- Try and understand both sides of the situation
This may seem like an odd thing to suggest, however in our world of social media there is a lot of information out there that demonstrates both sides of what is going on. One of the best things you can do as a leader (and we are all leaders) is to try and investigate from both sides. The more you can educate yourself on both sides of this, and any situation, will help you to support ALL people through the challenges of what is happening. You understanding both sides of the situation will increase your empathy!
3- Don’t place your opinions on other people
Now is not the time to get caught in arguments about choices people are making. You do not know everyone’s individual circumstances. You likely have not asked a lot of questions about the reasoning behind their decision. So until you do those two things, please don’t judge someone if their choices don’t match your choices. Right now that is not moving us forward. We need to trust in good faith that people are doing their best.
4- Take care of yourself
In times of stress and pressure; one of the greatest things you can do for yourself and others is to take care of you. Take time each day to exercise. Fuel yourself with real food. Drink lots of water. Take time to rest each night. When you take care of yourself you will be able to manage the stress and pressures of change and uncertainty with more energy.
5- Be a great change leader
Change is stressful. Constant change is a whole new level of stress. The best change leaders are the best at managing and handling other peoples emotions. The best change leaders are the best at slowing down and responding vs reacting and helping others do the same. The best change leaders understand there will be differing opinions. The best change leaders understand that they must lead from the front.
Be positive everyone! We will get through this. Wouldn’t it be great to get through it with a little less judgement?