Updated: Apr 20, 2022
If you've had a phone call, zoom meeting with me or received an email, direct message, or text from me since 2020, you would know that I almost always ask, "How are you feeling?" I would ask this because I genuinely wanted to know how people were feeling around me. I know that often times we ask this question as a greeting to get acquainted with the person and "How are you?" is a common ice breaker. I really wanted to know the answer though, the honest answer. Why? For the longest time I genuinely have wanted to know how I could help people around me and because I realized in 2019 that feelings aren't talked about enough. Throughout my life I would hear others around me sharing about what they like, what they do for a living, where they are from and where they are going, but I would very seldom hear a casual or informed conversation around feelings and navigating through emotions in an effective way.
When the war in Ukraine started on February 24, 2022 I, and many others around me, were in shock. Many, like myself, wanted to know what they could do to help. I knew people in my life who were affected by the war (either having connections in Ukraine or Russia or knowing someone close who did.) So, I tried to be helpful and supportive in any way that I could -- sending donations, sharing supportive posts on social media, etc. The thing that I hadn't taken into consideration was that even if you weren't directly or indirectly affected by this recent chaos, or any other chaotic event that had taken place over the past five years, the ripple of turbulence had been disruptive enough for everyone.
At first, I didn't change anything about my business practices. I quickly realized that it was important to let people know that I cared about how these recent events were affecting us all. It was helpful to give time for me and my colleagues to be human at the start of our meetings, because we're not robots! We are always going to be human, no matter how web3 things get. Here are some things that I have changed and developed in my own business practices to be more compassionate. If you find any of these helpful, or have modifications or suggestions of your own, please feel free to share them.
A week ago I reached out to one of our investors because I had emailed him several times and didn't hear back. He shared that his wife had family in Ukraine and that they were under a lot of stress. I realized that I had to take a step back; that being "business as usual" with my co-workers, colleagues and partners was callous and that I needed to check in before asking for a person to schedule time with me, or read an email, or
respond to an email. I found that it was important to ask co-horts, "How are you feeling? How are you managing the recent world changes that are happening?" Allowing for five to ten minutes for the person I was meeting with to just share what they are going thro
ugh, thinking, feeling, and experiencing can help build trust with a person and trust is something that you can't buy, it's developed through caring. I have known about this for a long time, but I saw it illustrated in an article I recently read by author, coach, and speaker John Graham in a blog he wrote about actively caring for the people that you work with. In this blog he talks about how even the little things, like actively listening and not just waiting for your turn to speak, and remembering little things that your employees have shared about themselves and their families.
If you're concerned that having a check-in will make your employees less productive, don't be. Getting your employees to share what's on their chest can actually aleviate stress and negative ruminating according to a 2019 article in Psychology Today that says that simply sharing even the simplest details of what you are experiencing can be helpful information to your colleagues and can help a person heal through their trauma.
2. Mental Health Resources
The stigma against mental health issues or even discussing mental health is being talked about more and employers are understanding the importance of being open-minded when it comes to providing mental health resources for employees. Offering preventative mental health resources for all employees is something that all employers can encourage more actively. MoodConnect offers access to discounts on many of the talk therapy providers that are widely used, like Betterhelp, Calmerry, and Cerebral. You don't have to be going through a hard time to speak with a mental health provider. Having weekly check ins with a therapist or counselor can create some normalcy and routine to an ever-changing world that can many times be unpredictable.
Now, this last one is a challenge for me, but when I practice it I find that my productivity levels are higher, I feel more sane and I have less instances where I am feeling the need to apologize. Holding back the urge to send a message, raise your hand, send an email or make a call can create more harmony than you'd expect. Starting your day off with a brief grounding meditation can help you to stay rooted in what is important and keep you in the present. Patience is a practice that we can all benefit from and costs nothing to set into motion. One tool that has helped me to remember to stay grounded in the present moment and be more mindful, has been Headspace. This app, and many others like it, offer access to mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, and sleep inducing sound tracks. I have turned on a few of these audio tracks when I would feel the need to react with annoyance (which, happens to everyone, so no need to be embarrassed) and it has helped me and many of our clients out a lot.
These and so many other resources are available for you to use and share with your co-workers when you sign up for any of our packages at MoodConnect. Get connected with us and schedule a demo and learn how we are helping businesses of all sizes to become healthier and improve employee retention.
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