We’re in lockdown and we’re all finding it pretty tough. Really not sure how we’ll pull through...

So how about you right now?

Noticed yourself feeling a whole mix of emotions? Maybe some not so comfortable?

Let’s be honest, we’re in uncharted waters and on new ground. Whatever we thought was normal, isn’t - for now anyway.

A little bit not okay is okay

Experiencing a variety of emotions, including feeling unsettled about life being upended, and concerned about how the future might look is an entirely normal response.  What  matters now is how you respond to these in yourself and others.

And how are your staff and colleagues coping with these big changes? Having difficulty with the uncertainty it all brings needs an empathic ear and heart. However being able to accept your and others’ emotions is important, but may not be quite enough.

You are not alone. Managing ourselves and teams in this time can feel challenging. We know that current business realities have stopped us in our tracks and made us all review our ‘work as usual’ approach.

But there’s a gift in all this

Yep, a real one, if you’re willing to go there. Try asking yourself: ‘What’s good about this situation we’re in?’

One big key to developing greater sense of wellbeing is to remember that emotions drive people and people drive success. And, by acknowledging how our emotions are impacting us and our work we create the opportunity to be emotionally honest and to connect authentically. 

How does that matter?

Being open and authentic allows us to accept and talk about emotions we find uncomfortable. It allows other people to do the same - and feel you understand what it's like for them. It builds rapport more rapidly than ignoring emotions and trying to pretend that it's business as usual. When Sir Ernest Shackelton's team was marooned in Antarctica with little hope of survival, he made sure he acknowledged their fears (but didn't feed them). Our Prime Minister has matched extensive research by openly acknowledging our fears about the virus and jobs.

Engaging with yourself, and your people, in a conversation about how each of you are feeling and what supports wellbeing during this unusual time can happen informally using a ‘fireside chat’ style. It’s a great door opener to uncover imaginative, yet unrealised ways to rejuvenate you all at work. It’s being heard that helps people feel better. And when we feel better we work better. And that’s one powerful way you can support people's welbeing.

Sound simple? Yes, but it may ask you to actively listen to some of the hard stuff.

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