Unexpected Gifts

One of the unexpected treats that has come out of my Covid experience is the opportunity to host a weekly live stream on the topic of mental health and resilience, presented by the Sechelt Hospital Foundation here on the Sunshine Coast of BC. Find the recordings here.

Unexpected GiftsAbout a month ago, three local mental health practitioners identified a massive need for our frightened community to better understand and normalize emotional responses to an unprecedented contemporary reality and so the series was born.

You may be feeling anxious, fearful, tired, foggy, irritable or flat out angry. What the experts keep reminding us is that whatever emotions you are experiencing right now are completely normal. It’s also important to allow yourself to feel those emotions, not deny or suppress them, and definitely not to punish yourself for feeling them.

The parallels with communicating with your important audiences are quite clear: whatever your employees, customers, suppliers are feeling about their relationship with you and your organization, is normal. People will have a variety of reactions to how you are managing your business whether that be shutting down, cutting back or pivoting completely. It’s important that your communications be frequent, genuine and provide the opportunity for dialogue.

The mental health gurus say that we should be curious about how others are reacting and feeling BUT that we can’t seem to stay curious for more than a few seconds before judgment rushes in. To make sure your crisis communications are relevant to your people, try to stay curious longer, try to resist the urge to judge and keep the lines of communication open. Ask questions, don’t just make pronouncements.

If you need help with messaging or delivery, ask for it. Giving and accepting assistance, especially in these days, is a great way to boost your own mental and even physical health.

Stay well; stay connected.

#anxiety #crisis #leaders #support #mentalhealth

Joanna Piros