Navigating Uncertainty

Let’s just start right here: It’s ok to not be ok. A myriad of emotions, the last couple weeks have rocked and unsettled most of us. Many of us are struggling with the physical distancing we have been asked to practice. Here in Minnesota, our stay-at-home guidance was just extended another 3 weeks. It’s become challenging. (Not as challenging as teaching an older family member how to use Facebook Messenger!)

If it’s not struggle with the limitation of movement, it’s worry about the unknown. Take it from someone who rarely watched the news before 3 weeks ago: the media has the ability to ratchet up your anxiety levels by sensationalizing, exploiting and dramatizing news. Filter carefully, from grounded resources; it impacts your well-being.

I’ve been hyper-focused on staying in gratitude this month, for all the reasons mentioned above. In fact, I’ve championed a month-long gratitude challenge with my friends on social media. Each day I am listing the things I am feeling particularly grateful for that day, and my friends are responding with their list. It’s been hugely uplifting and something that I have started to look forward to each day. I encourage you to champion your own!

Even with all the unknown, I can’t help but recognize and celebrate all of the good that is happening in our communities. I’ve been paying close attention to how different organizations have been responding to this crisis. Some have led the people-first, humane efforts – being the first to put up plexiglass and provide their staff PPE – and some have been cheap replicas, trying to catch up and mimic real thought leadership. Some have ensured that the most painful and impossibly difficult of business actions – layoffs and furloughs – were done with care and kindness, being careful to include the senior leadership teams in the pain by taking pay cuts or foregoing salary all together. Other companies, callously sending emails to employees that they no longer have jobs.

Mr. Rogers advised to “look for the helpers” in times of crisis. Let’s be sure when all this passes that we reward the companies that were people-first. We’ll most likely never forget this moment.

Look for the helpers! I have compiled a list of free resources for you and your families. They will help if you are struggling or looking for additional ways to build your resilience and courage. They will provide ideas on how to stay connected if you are feeling disconnected (virtual happy hour anyone?!) and how to disconnect if you are feeling overwhelmed. Resources listed at the end of the blog.

Speaking of feeling overwhelmed… who else has been challenged mentally, emotionally or spiritually in the last couple weeks? You aren’t alone! The 5 energy drivers we have within our control are Eating, Sleeping, Movement, Relaxation and Connection. How are you doing with those? Where do you lean in, and where do you avoid? Where can you pay more attention in the coming weeks to ensure that you are the best version of yourself during this challenging time?

Last but not least, if you have been unexpectedly impacted by this pandemic and have lost your job, I’d like to offer to help. With more than a decade of HR leadership in my back pocket, I can offer assistance with cleaning up your resume and preparing you to get back in the job market. Feel free to reach out, and let me know how I may be of service. Let’s all give where we can.

Do the best you can with what you have right now in this moment. That’s all we can do, and it’s all anyone expects. Stay healthy.

For Leaders: A 3-minute video from Franklin Covey with 5 tips for Leading Your Team Through Turbulent Times. A new podcast episode, led by Patrick Lencioni, discussing how teams (both virtual and in-person) can overcome The Five Dysfunctions of a (Virtual) Team and emerge from this crisis stronger and more cohesive. Curated content on different topics geared towards Leading Through Uncertainty.

For K-12 Children: A coloring book designed to help children talk about their feelings after a disaster, and learn positive ways to express their emotions in uncertain times. A free digital download (use code: Free9) of Patrick Lencioni’s book The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable… About Restoring Sanity To The Most Important Organization In Your Life. An English and Spanish fact sheet on helping children cope during a crisis. A youth-version of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleLeader In Me.

For Everyone: A viral TED Talk, given by Dr. Brené Brown, on The Power of Vulnerability. A resource sheet on Managing Stress. Mindfulness-based app, Insight Timer, with 40,000 free sessions (guided, sound only) designed to help you manage sleep, anxiety and stress. A webcast series called The 7 Habits: How to Deal with Change and Uncertainty.

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