Given the current state of the world, I thought it would be prudent to dust off a post from last year and update it to reflect how I’ve been feeling and what we’ve been doing to navigate the multitude of global issues that we’re all watching unfold in real time.
I saw a quote that said that adulthood is not one crisis after another, it’s multiple crises, simultaneously, forever.
This regularly makes the rounds on social media now because it resonates with all of us. But it doesn’t feel big enough somehow for the very real and utterly devastating things that people are experiencing – some of them, people that we know and care deeply about.
There are plenty of articles that detail the psychological trauma that we can experience just from seeing images of war and death secondhand, so I cannot even fathom what people are enduring as their daily lives develop. Not to mention the constant fear due to lack of safety, access to resources, etc. that many people globally live with every day, both in and out of war zones.
These events prompt reflection on the art of crisis management – it seems frivolous, but if the pandemic times have taught us nothing, it’s that somehow, work goes on, even during crisis. Sometimes, we work because it helps us to keep a routine to cope with crises.
“Prioritize Humanity” – In times of uncertainty, leading with empathy and a human touch is paramount. It’s acceptable to acknowledge our collective apprehensions about an uncertain future. Demonstrating shared concerns while pledging to guide others through turbulent times is an essential leadership quality.
Incorporate Compassion and Patience – The past few years have been marked by upheaval. We have all been witnesses to real-time global events. While some have returned to traditional office settings, others are still crafting remote or hybrid work models. The one-size-fits-all approach is no longer feasible. Individuals need flexibility, and mistakes will inevitably occur. Responding with understanding and patience is essential to smooth transitions.
Self-Care Matters – Self-care is often regarded as a cliché, yet it holds real significance. We aren’t referring to indulgent luxuries; rather, it encompasses the establishment of boundaries and schedules. Even if you are accustomed to remote work, a purposeful approach to managing your time can yield a considerable improvement in focus and productivity. This is especially important when dealing with crises that are relevant to marginalized communities – if you, as a leader are affected, are you ensuring that you are getting the care that is needed? Have you created safe spaces for those communities within your workplace for them to come together or take the space and time they need?
Enhance Communication – Effective communication is more critical than ever. Whether you are working remotely or not, maintaining consistent, valuable communication with your team is a fundamental aspect of leadership. It not only offers valuable resources but also assures your team of your unwavering support.
Foster a Sense of Community – Building a sense of community is a strategy worth considering. Even though virtual events may not entirely replace the experience of in-person gatherings, they can serve as a bridge to maintain a shared culture and support network. Now that many of us are in person again, ensure that you are fostering community and discussion around these issues that can feel really divisive too – training or outside facilitation may be necessary to ensure that you’re able to do this with care and consideration, but taking folks off their devices to have real, face-to-face conversations can ensure a connected workplace that allows people to feel that they’re able to bring their full selves to the office.
In times of crisis, one undeniable truth remains: unity is a source of strength. People come together to make a difference.