As we deal with multiple challenges on multiple fronts, here is a good tip from Harvard Business Review as adapted from “How to Be a Supportive Manager When Times Are Tough,” by Amy Gallo.
As disturbing world events continue to unfold, it’s understandable that your team’s minds are elsewhere. As a manager, what can you do to support your team right now? How do you balance the need for compassion with the need to still get work done?
To start, take some time to understand your own emotions. You’ll be better able to support your team and model resiliency if you acknowledge and manage any stress and anxiety you’re feeling yourself. Then, have a conversation with your team to acknowledge what’s happening. Pretending that everything is fine, or just trying to go about work as if nothing is going on, can cause people to disengage or to feel resentful.
At the same time, try to avoid brooding, where you or your team members get stuck in a spiral of negative thinking. Focus on action instead. You can do this by asking, “What would be most helpful at the moment? Let’s think about it together.”
Finally, encourage self-compassion, and model self-care. Acknowledge that stress is a normal, physiological response to feeling out of control or threatened — and share any strategies that are currently working for you.