We know your inbox, like ours, has likely been filling up with messages about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, and what different organizations are doing to keep their customers safe. We also know that you are a human being, just like us, and likely experiencing a wide range of reactions as the virus—and the news—spreads.
We wanted to take a moment to weigh in. First, as you know from having worked with us in the past, we encourage our clients—and ourselves—to stay clear on the difference between facts and interpretations. Just as there are many sources of facts about the developing situation, there are exponentially more opinions about and interpretations of those facts. As much as possible, as with any situation you’re dealing with, we invite you to stay as focused as possible on the facts, and be mindful of not getting too caught up in interpretations and speculations.
At the same time, give yourself, your colleagues, clients, family, friends, and the broader world a break for being human. This is a challenging set of circumstances that can trigger a reaction from any of us. Have patience and compassion with and for yourself and each other in terms of whatever we may be dealing with personally, whether that occurs to you like an overreaction or an underreaction. We will all deal with the situation differently, so now is the time to call on our generous listening skills to make time to talk with others about what we and they are experiencing.
With so much emphasis today on stopping most of our in-person social interactions (and those of our family, colleagues and communities), we may find ourselves in either a literal or de facto self-quarantine. We can’t emphasize enough the value at this time of being in regular communication with as many people as possible – engaging people in constructive conversations that interrupt whatever less constructive private thoughts any of us can fall into.
Speaking of constructive conversations: as we say, context is decisive, and the context in which we are holding or viewing the developing circumstances will make all the difference in how we are able to respond and make thoughtful, informed, and compassionate decisions. We encourage you as leaders to look for and speak from realistic but empowering contexts – for example, “this challenge is a chance to draw us together and work even better as a team”…
We at JMW are committed to your successfully dealing with whatever challenges may come your way – individually and for your organization(s). We are here if we can be helpful in any way – like supporting you in changing the ways of working with your team, or helping you sort out some tough choices you may need to make, or just looking with you for one of those realistic and empowering contexts you can share with others in your life.
Stay safe and healthy.
On behalf of JMW,