As a leader, you are receiving new information and communication daily.  You are learning important facts and information about COVID19 and about individual and collective responses.  You are leading in an ever-changing environment.

Additionally, you may be learning how to work and learn from home together, finding new ways to socialize from a distance, and seeing the creativity of others through art project ideas, scavenger hunts, and hilarious memes.

Here are a few practical things you can do to help stay connected and communicate through these times of uncertainty.

  • Bring the calm: While the world is rapidly responding to regular changes, calming yourself and remaining calm will serve to help you, your family and the team you lead. The feelings and emotions you share with others are taken on by them.  Providing a calm presence will help them to remain calm.  Now would be a good time to practice breathing and meditation, get fresh air by going outside or opening a door or window, and limiting negativity and depressing news.
  • Set a regular communication cadence: It’s important for all of us to continue a schedule and have communication expectations in our lives. As a leader, communicating often and setting clear expectations of your team is important for you and them.  Having 1-2 scheduled check-in times each day (using ZoomMicrosoft Teams or some other virtual app) will allow you to talk about what you plan to accomplish/ have accomplished, resources that you have or need, and things that went well or you are thankful for each day.

Don’t forget, this communication cadence includes socializing with friends and family each day.  Setting regular times to socialize gives everyone something to look forward to and creates connectivity with one another.

  • Create an environment of understanding around work-at-home dynamics: While some of you may have worked from home in the past, it was likely not under the same set of circumstances we are experiencing today.  For many of you, it’s the first time you have young children who either can’t go to daycare or are attempting online schooling.  For others, you may have spouses working from home who don’t typically.  You may have pets that want in on your conference calls.  Whatever the circumstances, it’s important to give each other grace during this time.  Don’t expect perfection.  Trust and know that your teammates are doing everything they can to keep work and home running smoothly.  Enjoy this personal side of the teammates you work so hard with every day.
  • Keep it real: As a leader, it’s so important for you to set the tone and keep things as real as possible. Encourage “face-to-face” time via video conferencing.  Share your morning coffee or virtual time at the water cooler.

We at Pathmakers are doing our best to keep it real by sharing our dogs and kids on conference calls and sending one another funny memes and videos to share the love and laughter.  We challenge each of you to communicate and create relatedness and certainty for one another.