The time has never been more clearly upon us to be aware of ourselves and to take care of our physical, mental and emotional health. As leaders there is huge pressure to nd ways to keep your employees and business running during this time of self-isolation, social distancing and economic lock down.
While I would love to be able to offer you solutions of how you can innovate your business to manage the current Covid-19 Crisis, there is no one-stop-shop solution to managing the unknown. In this article I would like to share some simple but effective strategies to—
- keep calm and carry on during the Covid-19 Crisis
- harness your internal resources to manage stress;
- find rational ways to keep your team united; and
- help innovate your business to cope with the current uncertainty.
How to Keep Calm and Carry on During The Covid-19 Crisis
As we all know from personal experience, no great ideas come when we are highly stressed — in fact it’s science. When we are in a high stress situation, our system goes into fight or flight mode. This serves an evolutionary purpose by focusing our attention to the direct, immediate threat and in this way helps us survive. However, in order to respond rationally and effectively in crisis we need to be able to think broadly, to see the bigger picture and to respond with innovative ideas. We cannot do this when we are in fight or flight mode.
While there is no perfect recipe for managing stress that can be offered to everyone, we all have ways and means of accessing our inner resources to keep calm and carry on. We have learned coping strategies which work for us, that can assist in lowering heart rate, increasing positive emotions and supporting us in releasing stress. Whether that is going for a walk, cooking, meditating or reading a book; there has never been a more important time in history for us to make use of these stress management strategies. So if you are feeling overwhelmed, fearful of the future or unsure what to do to keep calm and carry on during the Covid-19 Crisis, step one is to relieve your stress by doing the things you enjoy. This will not only curb your anxiety and fear but will boost your positive emotions whilst increasing your capacity to think creatively about what needs to happen next.
Reflect and Prepare
Once you are able to take deep breaths and think clearly, you can begin to strategise and problem‐solve your current challenges. While the Covid-19 Crisis is a case study of the unknown, take the time now, while business is slow, to reflect on your current business practices and how you want to evolve. While it may seem counterintuitive to be doing this during a crisis, how you prepare for the future is largely dependent on your ability to think clearly and creatively about how you operate now and where you want your business to go.
Communicate: Openly, Honestly and Passionately
While everyone is social distancing, self-isolating, and trying to carry on during the Covid-19 Crisis, there is no more important time than now to keep your communication channels open and responsive. Have meetings virtually, use online apps for task and project management, engage in your core values and communicate these clearly with your employees. Calmly keep them in the loop. Share the business’s challenges, concerns and fears and how you are strategising and preparing for the coming times. This will not only ensure you maintain and build healthy relationships but will also show your employees that you value them, and reassure them that you are taking steps to ensure the future of your business.
This is definitely not business as usual, so take this time to review how you could be working differently. At 4Seeds we are experts in guiding leaders to shift into a growth mindset, to become strengths-focused and to transform business culture. While just staying afloat is where most leaders are focused, this is a necessary time to start incorporating these approaches into your business focus.
Let’s take ‘strengths focus’, as an example. This is about acknowledging the inherent characteristics of each employee and how that can be used to best benefit business practices. If there is someone who is innately funny, light-hearted and playful, task them with fun ways to keep spirits high through humour. If someone else is passionate about learning, task them with researching what other businesses are doing in your industry. And if someone is inherently brave and courageous, get them to engage with clients, shareholders or thought leaders; put them on the frontlines and see them flourish. Make use of the skills, internal resources and passions (strengths) of your employees to help your business keep calm and carry on during the Covid-19 Crisis.
Candid Conversations for Leaders in Crisis
4Seeds is hosting a supportive online forum for leaders, entrepreneurs, business owners and the self-employed, where we come together to share, innovate and be supported with skills, community knowledge and resources. This community space enables to individuals to better manage their daily work and personal lives during these turbulent times.
It is at times like these that we need to think creatively, innovatively and collaboratively. 4Seeds is passionate about building value-driven, people-centred organisations. We care about the journey to becoming an effective leader by providing leaders with the resources to manage themselves, their teams and their businesses with confidence and competence. We are offering this online meeting space bi-weekly as a way to play our part in supporting the well-being of our clients, our economy and our country.