CALM- The Powerful Force in Days Like Today

By: Janice Krupic, President & CEO of Paragon Leadership

CALM seems like a juxtapose term to use in today’s climate.  Yet, it is exactly what will get us through these times we are all experiencing.

As you help lead your employees in the days, weeks, and months ahead, you may find the tips below as healthy reminders.

C Compassion & Community

It is human tendency to be on edge during times of such uncertainty and unrest.  People’s idiosyncrasies can be exacerbated given such a climate.  Show compassion toward others, even though our own patience may likely be tested.

Even though many of us may be living in close quarters, with some living in complete isolation, now is the time to reach out to others. This weekend I reached out to a cousin I haven’t spoken to in quite some time.  After the call, she texted to thank me for the call and, more importantly, making her laugh.  Turns out, she is living in complete isolation, away from her family as a schoolteacher in rural Pennsylvania.

AAgility & Adaptability

Today’s unprecedented climate puts a whole new meaning to agility.  Recognize that your leaders and employees are accustomed to some varying degrees of routine, and likely the life they are currently living represents anything but routine.  Some way to help them accept the new norm of unpredictability:  schedule a time and day or week to continue connecting and communicating, provide professional resources (EAP counselors, coaches, other) to help process emotions and derive healthy actions, challenge creative and innovative thinking to maintain engagement such as developing alternative ways to repurpose one’s skills and the skills of the organization.

L – Lead by Example, Laugh and Learn

If you project doom and gloom, this negative energy can quickly become toxic.  You can be the optimist, while remaining authentic.  Look for the silver linings and encourage others to do the same.  Be the positive role model for your leaders and provide an easier path for them to emulate the same with their employees.

Laughter is good for the soul and one’s mental state.  Find the appropriate time to induce some levity in what may feel like the most trying of times.  Share a funny video or story – there are plenty that are going around!

Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill, speak a new language, explore a new topic?  Now could be the time!  Even Harvard University is offering free on-line courses on a wide variety of topics that are open for anyone.  Seeking ways to develop your leaders?  Consider forming book clubs-reviews. Offer on-line assessments with a professional interpretation to determine areas of development opportunity. Support them with the resources to grow and learn in the identified area.

M – Move & Mindfulness

Likely you and your staff are not accustomed to sitting at home all day.  If this is the case, find ways to keep moving and encourage others to do the same.  If you or others are a gym-goer, create your own boot camp routines at home by exploring an interesting on-line/YouTube exercise class, or simply go for a walk.  Explore new state, county and Metroparks in your area.  And when all else fails, do some laps around your home, climb the stairs, do chair yoga, or simply make sure you are moving every 30 minutes.

Don’t take for granted that employees and other people out of sight and out of mind are doing okay.  When in doubt, reach out.  And go the extra mile by thinking of those who may be particularly vulnerable during this time, even if it may not be someone you would regularly make connect with.  Sometimes we can become self-absorbed relatively quickly with our own stressors, and forget about those around us who likely have similar, if not greater, challenges.  Besides, reaching out to others is simply good for the soul.

Be mindful of how you are really doing (mind, body and soul!), as well as those around you.  Keep informed of what is going on around you, while at the same time keeping a healthy balance and perspective.  Try not to let the daily news and accompanied noise suck you in!  The buildup of continual negative messaging can have a detrimental impact on one’s overall health and well-being.

If you have never practiced mindfulness, now is a good time to try it.  Whether it is through journaling, meditation, yoga or some other type of mindfulness practice, gift yourself with some quiet mental time.  The mind is powerful, but like any other body function, especially in stressful times, can become overly taxed.  Be kind to it and give it a rest!

Hopefully, you will find some of the tips provided as helpful reminders to stay balanced and keep life in perspective.  Wishing you, your family, friends, and employees well… try your best to stay CALM.