We're all in this together. Whether you're an "essential" employee, a business owner who has been asked to close for the greater good, a working-from-home mother trying to hold it all together, or a self-employed entrepreneur like me, we are all experiencing some level of challenge. Perhaps you, like me, are a little thrown off your game.
In working through my own struggles and hearing from others, I have been trying to figure out how I can help. I would love to jump in and watch my grandchildren so my daughter/daughter-in-law could more easily #workfromhome but I've traveled recently so I'm #stayinghome. I want to find a way to support the clients who made my dream of owning my own business come true, but they are focused on their own challenges. I am trying to figure out how I can shift my own business model in light of the very interpersonal nature of my work. If you're like me, your head is spinning!
So today, I started thinking about what I DO know; what I CAN do.
It starts with each of us as individuals.
1) TRUST YOURSELF and OTHERS. Trust that you have the competence to make the best decisions with the information and skills you have now. Self-doubt can easily creep in; push it back by setting up simple routines and standing firm in your values. This includes stepping up your game for self-care!
Now, more than ever, EXTEND trust to those around you. People like feeling trusted. It empowers them. We’re all facing uncertainty; trust that your boss, spouse, co-worker, are making the best decisions they can considering the unknowns. Don't wait for others to 'earn" your trust in challenging times. Give it first! One way you can extend trust is through genuine care. As Stephen Covey says, "The motive that inspires the greatest trust is genuine caring." Show that you genuinely want what's best for everyone involved. Address some of your doubts by clearly communicating and setting high expectations. Regularly check in to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Check out other trust behaviors you might try!
3) ESTABLISH ROUTINES. In times of uncertainly it helps to be able to focus on a few things you can control. In my sudden downtime, I've started a new daily devotional so that I can feel productive every morning. It's a routine I hope I'll keep in place for the future. Whether it's taking time for self-care, a morning walk, a bi-weekly Zoom meeting, or some other creative idea, establish new routines. One routine that is essential: check in regularly. There are great remote connectivity tools to help and lots of creative ideas for creating togetherness. Most of all, ask for ideas from those you want to help - your team members, your family, your friends. They might have some amazing new ideas for staying focused and connected while working through this!
4) ADAPT & INNOVATE. Times of crisis require sudden break-throughs of our rigid systems and preconceived notions of how things should be. Many of you have had to act instantly. Seeing our K-12 education system and working-from-home parents suddenly adapt to distance learning is just one example of how innovation plays out in times of crisis. Now is the time to let your creative ideas shine. If you've ever wanted to try something out, why not now? Like me - I've always wanted to blog but couldn't get myself to do it. Here I am, writing a blog! Let yourself and those around you think creatively about how you’ve done things in the past. Rethink your routines, systems, approaches. Consider adopting a Growth Mindset. With the sudden need for innovation, you might find that ideas will more readily emerge.
Whatever you take from this, I hope you’ll consider this: We’re all in this together but how you respond starts with you. You can take one small action that could make all the difference.