Current events have been heavy these past few days here in United States compounding the existing uncertainty and anxiety from Covid-19.
You, your colleagues, and your communities may be feeling overwhelm, confusion, uncertainty, and of course elevated stress. If you’re in a position of influencing organizational change you may feel a sense of responsibility to say something to your employees to address the stress and anxiety and even anger that issues like racism trigger, but what do you say?
I think a good tone is one of empathy, openness, collaboration and solidarity echoing what has been shared by your leadership.
Here are a few tactical suggestions on what you could do to process difficult emotions. You can also share these suggestions in community platforms within your organization.
- Directly/Indirectly experiencing the current events can be stressful. Awareness is the first step to change. Take time to notice how you are feeling, without judgement. This is a great time to apply your self awareness training.
- When you get asked “How are you?” answer authentically. Describe in one word how you’re feeling right now so you can give voice to your emotion and know you are not alone.
- Double down on nourishing habits – hydration, nutrition, exercise, quiet time
- Limit news consumption. It’s important to stay informed but too much news can trigger overwhelm. Watch the news in the late afternoon/early evening instead of first thing in the morning or before bed
- Lend a listening ear. Practice empathy and compassion.
- It’s okay to say “I don’t know”
It’s okay to not know what to do or what to say right now. What’s important is that you’re paying attention, internally and externally. Become aware of your own emotions and feelings around this very sensitive topic.
These feelings may be uncomfortable, it may be overwhelming, please don’t dismiss them. Remember awareness is the first step in change. Acknowledge the various layers of discomfort as they surface. Eventually the discomfort will subside; what will remain is insight.
Insight empowers your ability to choose differently and create change.
Looking for resources to support your team members? Below are suggestions from DEI Collective.