As the CEO of a company that supports healthy organizations, one of the first things we can do (as employees) and as leaders is to be aware of those around us. When the news is swirling and there is a national debate about sexual assault there are going to be some people who are impacted more than others.
This blog outlines tips for those who have been impacted and struggle to stay centered and advice for People Managers and Executives.
Managers & Executives, it’s in moments like this that you are able to show your leadership abilities. You may not understand what some people on your team are feeling but it’s still your responsibility to help them manage through it, which promotes a healthy and productive culture with high retention rates. So, what can you do ?
Check in with directs
Acknowledge current events
Provide a communication path for your team
Support work from home
Turn off the TV
Check in with directs: If you lead a large team with directs and indirects it’s critical you set the tone for the organization. Communicate the need to be empathetic to everyone. That we all must be aware of those around us. Set up time with your HRBP to discuss resources your organization may have for employees and recommended talking points.
Acknowledge current events: For leaders of big and small teams, this time is triggering for many. In your next team meeting and over email, offer support and if at all feasible allow team members to work from home if they need to. In your one-to-one, ask how each person is doing and if they need your support.
Provide a communication path for your team: Structure is important. You don’t want to call team members out, so ensure every single person on your team knows who to go to for additional support and that your door is open.
Turn off the TV: Many companies don’t need the news running all day. If your company doesn’t need it - turn it off.
For those who feel triggered or overwhelmed by emotion, there are also ways you can take care of yourself. Key techniques to remain centered are:
connecting with others / therapy
reduced social media and the news
Sleep: Do what you can to promote healthy sleep. It is much harder to regulate emotions when we lack sleep.
Meditation: When your mind feels scattered and you struggle to focus, meditation brings clarity. Use the calm app and set it for 5 - 10 minutes. Set a goal to use this for one full week and see how you feel.
I also utilize a particular meditation technique with clients which can help those dealing with past trauma
Set an alarm for 5-10min
Sit with hands in your lap, cupped together as if holding water, breathing slowly to a 5 count in and out
As you begin to calm, think about a past memory… in this instance it can be that past girl or boy who was hurt. Conjure them in your mind until you see him/her clearly
Send loving, healing energy to the younger you
Many times, we may feel distracted and have trouble visualizing the hurt you. These are parts of you trying to protect you from pain. In your head, ask those parts what they want to protect you from and ask if they will gently step aside, letting you connect and send love to the younger you. It is this connection with past hurt that heals our brain. I will post a video meditation of this in the future.
Turn it off: Limit the news and social media; it’s that simple.
Connect with Others / Therapy: Too many of us take a traumatic experience and tuck it away for years, hoping we can move forward without ever looking back. But our brains don’t work that way. Indelible in our hippocampus are memories and it’s important we really work with those memories to eventually overcome them.
If you are looking for a therapist, you can try TalkSpace and find a therapist who utilizes IFG. Definition of IFS is here, which is also shown in Pixar’s Inside Out. Therapy, using IFS can help us identify and then control the emotions that unexpectedly erupt.
Exercise: Not only does exercise help sleep, it releases those feel good endorphins that improves positivity. It’s a critical piece of the self-care puzzle.
The beauty of work is that we are together. Let’s use this time to connect and support, not diminish and pretend.
Alli, CEO @ TheForem.Co