• DURING CRISES OF ANY TYPE when information is unavailable or inconsistent, people’s desire for making sense out of what’s happening becomes paramount. For employees now working at home or business premises under tight restrictions, effective communication is critical – not only to perform productively, but to help them cope emotionally. Fundamental steps include: (1) Conveying information frequently and consistently, keeping messages simple and to the point; (2) Focusing on facts, what is known or unknown without minimizing or speculating, and not denying adverse factors; (3) When appropriate, involving affected employees in operational decisions, with transparency in rationale, and providing a reasonable & safe process for their input; (4) Framing instructions as ‘do’ versus ‘don’t’ since people pay more attention to positively framed information; (5) Setting clear goals & objectives about what the intends and expects, then consistently “walking the talk… Research has shown that meaning and associated well-being can explain up to 25% of performance.”  [McKINSEY – Apr 20]
  • THE CONCEPT OF ‘TELETHERAPY’ CAME TO PUBLIC ATTENTION via a TV comedy series starring Lisa Kudrow called Web Therapy. Nine years later, the concept is becoming mainstream as another by-product of coronavirus. While stay-at-home guidelines are a crucial part of pandemic response, they – especially for people who’ve lost jobs and identity – “can be the worst thing for a person’s mental well-being, as isolation leaves them cut off from lifelines they depend upon to cope… augmenting issues like anxiety, relationships, parenting, substance use and depression… When the pandemic is over, it’s increasingly likely that doctors will be more flexible and continue to offer video sessions… Their challenge is making teletherapy appointments just as impactful as the sessions to which patients are accustomed.”  [FUTURISM/NEOSCOPE – 4/16/20]
  • MEANWHILE, REAL TIME TODAY IS VIDEOCONFERENCING, incessantly for many, which can significantly impact productivity by draining energy to the point of fatigue, along with contributing to emotional stress. Some tips to combat fatigue: (1) Schedule Zoom calls with a break between, at least 5 – 10 minutes, to “give your brain a span to process the meeting’s substance, make note of next steps, and prepare for the next conversation”; (2) Avoid being stuck in one position. Gently swivel side-to-side or tilt back (cautiously if using virtual background to avoid disappearing), and/or adjusting chair up/down between calls; (3) Shift eyesight periodically by looking away from the screen, and shifting between Gallery & Speaker view for a “more natural sensation of having focus on one person at a time – versus the equivalence of watching multiple TV shows side-by-side, while checking a mirror to see how you look.”  [FAST COMPANY – 4/15/20]
  • NEWEST ISSUE: DRINKING ALCOHOL MAY INCREASE COVID-19 RISK, announced the World Health Organization this week – a bit tardy, now that liquor stores, deemed ‘essential,’ have remained open during the lockdowns and alcohol sales have risen drastically. WHO advises that liquor both weakens the body’s immune system and puts drinkers “at risk for other risky behaviors that could increase the likelihood of contracting coronavirus.”  [USA TODAY – 4/16/20]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  Interested in visiting inside the Int’l Space Station? https://www.youtube.com/embed/ doN4t5NKW-k


The world around us happens without consideration for who we are, or how we feel, or our interpretation.

   Our inner-voices, dreams or cares are irrelevant to impact; we can’t control what happens – only how we choose to react.

With anger, fear, frustration, dismay, confusion, awe; to accept, reject, ignore, reflect, act strongly or withdraw.

   There’s always some reaction to something that occurred — what we may have witnessed, may have dreamed, or simply heard.

Most reactions are instinctive. To pause and think first is tough, about whether or whatever is happening truly matters enough

   to override our common sense about the next impact from failing to control how we choose to react.

How we could or should instead have done that or said this? How we might have reacted somewhat calmer than we did?

   How all that followed afterwards – wasted energy, stress, frustration – were pointless in the scheme of things, just useless aggravation. 

So, if and when, we’d take a breath to gather our perspective, before reacting emotionally with anger or invective,

   the chance for common sense to guide what follows later, and likelihood for best outcome is certainly much greater.