As we are all experiencing intense stress and uncertainty about the future, it is essential that we take care of our mental health and the ones who are surrounding us. As a leader, your contribution is essential on this matter. Of course, your role as a captain is to steer your ship despite how agitated or troubled the waters are. Given the unprecedented intensity of the current situation, it has become even more important to take care of your crew.
I would encourage you to take the time to check in with your people. If you were doing it before, increase the frequency. For those who are starting with this, I suggest you schedule a one to one call with your team members – take the time to ask how they feel and really listen. This will go a long way. And don’t forget your suppliers and vendors in this effort. A client, a treasury consultant for a large multinational, mentioned to me that their CFO reached out to him and took the time to have a qualitative discussion about his family and impact of the situation on his various projects. People do not forget that type of initiative and this is strengthening the bond with your business partners.
When starting up a virtual meeting – instead of jumping directly to the meeting agenda, take the time to check in with the meeting participants with questions like:
- What made you smile today?
- What is your internal weather?
- Put these morning routine items in order: breakfast, coffee/tea, meditation, open up your laptop
- What was something that you enjoyed the most as a child?
That kind of small talk at the beginning of phone calls and chit-chatting during work can help to achieve this. At the same time, it helps you build a stronger and more cohesive team.
At this time where almost the whole world is required to keep safe social distance, it has never been more important to be more connected, and increase our mutual “virtual” proximity!