Check on Your People, People

We are now six months into a health crisis that has changed everything we do… the ways we work, go to school, socialize, shop, vacation, walk past others on the street… there are very few things that are the same as they were in early March 2020.

When we all “went home” from work and school in mid-March, a few things happened… there was an immediate “we’re in this together” reaction for many people. Certainly not everyone reacted that way. But lots of people did. And for those in the northern hemisphere, spring and then summer was on the immediate horizon. At least we could be outside.

Six months later, some things are better. Some are worse. But now (again showing my northern hemisphere bias), we are into fall, which means winter is not that far away.

In the early days, I saw lots of evidence of people giving each other the “grace and space” to deal with the crisis… lots of support for each other… lots of understanding. But as often happens over extended periods of time, eventually some of that natural human reaction starts to wane. We start to get anxious to move on, get back to normal, and just deal with it. You can see little examples of evidence of this all over the place.

My point here today is that there is risk in this desire for normalcy. First of all, we still don’t have a solution to this crisis. So, trying to get back to normal when things are not yet normal is in and of itself highly risky.

But at a more human level, when we start to convince ourselves that we can get back to normal, we also risk forgetting to check in on the people in our lives. Life is anything BUT normal right now. Schools are still desperately trying to figure this out, with entirely mixed results. Many industries remain highly disrupted. And as winter looms, our ability to use being outside as a coping mechanism is about to change as well.

Communication is about human connection, first and foremost. And business success always, under any circumstances, requires that we care and connect with our customers AND our colleagues.

So as we head into the seventh month of this crisis, and as the northern hemisphere’s winter looms on the horizon, remember that the best thing you can for your customers and colleagues, your friends and family, is to continue to bring great understanding with you every day. No matter what things might look like on the surface, we are not yet within five postal codes of “normal.” People still need grace and space to continue to navigate this.

Be the person who does not forget that.

And while you are giving everyone else a break, don’t forget to give one to yourself as well. Giving grace and space to yourself is usually the first step in your ability to give it to others.

So as we head into colder weather for most of the people in our Latimer community, remember to check in on the people in your life. “Check on your people” might be the best mantra I can think of right now.

In a way, this post today is part of my effort to check on you. Take care of yourself, my friends.

Does your team:
– Take too long to make decision?
– Fail to ask for what it wants or needs from you?
– Make things too complicated?
– Deliver unconvincing or disorganized presentations?
– Have new hires who are unprepared to communicate in the workplace?

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Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.