My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine who are living through the unnecessary and cruel effects of war. The invasion, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, political division in our country, and negativity and misinformation fueled by social media have got me feeling frazzled, frustrated, worried, and exhausted. And I know I’m not alone.
These are uncertain and uncomfortable times. As leaders, we must make sure our people know that we understand, and that we care. How do we do that? We must communicate.
- Check in. Your people need more than check-ins on deadlines or metrics, especially during times of uncertainty. Ask them how they’re doing. Knowing you care about their well-being tells them that they matter. Here are some prompts you can use to start the conversation.
“Before we talk about [insert topic here], I want to ask how you’re doing personally. “
“There’s a lot going on in the world right now. How are you feeling?“
“We don’t usually talk much about our personal lives, but I know that I’ve been feeling a bit stressed lately with everything going on at work, at home, and in the world. How about you?“
- Acknowledge, don’t ignore. When world events happen, they impact your people in different ways. It’s important to acknowledge what’s going on, listen, and provide support. Check out this article that shows how some leaders have let their people know they care, and are not alone.
- Check in with yourself. Leaders are no good for their people if they’re exhausted, overstressed, or burned out. One of the best things you can do for your team is to make sure you’re taking care of you — your body and your mind. You can’t be effective if you’re always running on empty.
In times of uncertainty, it’s important to take a little extra time to make sure we’re all okay.