Dr. James D. Guy
President & Cofounder, Headington Institute
This piece was originally published as a blog on our website on April 6, 2020.
The coronavirus (which causes the disease officially named COVID-19) has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), which often brings feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and worry to many of us and to our families. It can also lead to changes in mood and behavior. Some may experience a need to “do something” but you don’t know what to do. Others may feel a low mood and feel sad or hopeless.
Members of your team will look to you for reassurance and guidance during this health and economic crisis. Given all of the uncertainty, you will have few answers to most pressing questions about safety and security. However, there are some very important things that only you can do for them.
- Maintain your own self-care. Stay in touch with your personal networks of supportive people Rely on your judgment and experience to direct those who look to you.
- Nurture your personal spirituality to maintain your sense of meaning and purpose.
- Take care of your basic physical needs for sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
- Validate their feelings and concerns. Their reactions are normal in this abnormal situation. Listen without judgment
- Limit most of your comments to these three powerful replies:
- Thank you
- I’m sorry
The best leaders in a crisis bring truth, hope, and gratitude to every interaction. That is your most important role right now, and you must do this better than anyone else.