So now, the entire country has been under full-blown mass hysteria and anxiety of Coronavirus Covid-19 grips. For many, you haven’t experienced this sort of panic. For some of us, we recall other panic nationwide situations such as the 2001 Trade Towers attack. We are at the same point of 2001 when you couldn’t turn on any tv, newspaper, or website without being fully consumed by the current situation of Covid-19. At this point, you can’t get away from it on the news or the mass exodus of TP from every store option on the planet.
When there is chaos and unknown things like today, we must focus on truths and facts. As leaders, at home or work, we need to create stability, first by creating empathy. We understand some may be scared, some may have full-blown anxiety. Some of us are moving forward, but others are standing still or even moving backward with fear. That is ok, and we must have empathy and understand the shoes everyone is standing in right now, and what concerns or fears everyone may harbor. But we must reassure people that everything will be ok through communication, truths, perspective which in turn provide hope for people filled with fear and even anxiety right now.
This mass hysteria creates fear in a domino contagious effect. So we must help people create stability and confidence that we are going to work through this and be ok. We will all feel fear of Covid-19 at some point to varying levels. It wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t have some level of fear. But we must use the fear to help us inform ourselves. Take some time to collect information, data, and knowledge to allow us to lead our people through this journey, and continue to remind our people that everything will be ok.
The time is now to come together, be patient, be informed, be calculated, be rationale, be truthful, be calm, and help people understand that we will be ok. Consumption of the fear and the chaos can be suffocating. Holding your cell phone for the next “buzz” notification, with CNBC, CNN, or FOX putting out the next article or next minute by minute news alert only feeds your consumption of the fear and chaos. Or getting the next tweet notification by whomever you follow on Twitter on this current pandemic break. So turn off all notifications, or at least taking it down to one news organization so that the world chaos at your fingertips each minute of every day isn’t constantly “buzzing” for you to pick it up and read the mass chaos strangulating our society today.
If you have kids at home, take the time to sit down with them and ask them what their fears are with what is going on right now. What are they feeling? Let them speak so that you can then respond with answers to give them more hope and less fear. Give them more facts and less hysteria to consume. Kids have worries and concerns, and we don’t want to ignore them. They have consumed all the news you have right there by your side. They are feeling the chaos, and they aren’t old enough to know how to handle it, so help your kids handle it by arming them with knowledge, not fear, and not chaos.
As leaders, for your family, at work, at school, or wherever it may be, it is your chance to provide hope, clarity, common sense, positivity, and knowledge that everything will be ok. It’s your opportunity to look at what you can do. It’s your opportunity to go to other leaders and ask them what are they doing. It’s your opportunity to come together for your community, answer people’s questions, not create more fear, but create more hope. It’s your opportunity to communicate with your people, your family, your staff, or your team to help people stay calm in the storm.
In times of chaos, leaders must learn to bring our communities together, answer questions and create more hope than fear. It’s our opportunity to help our people, our family, our staff, and our teams to stay calm through the storm.