Clarity in Crisis

Uncategorized Mar 14, 2020

As I’ve received requests from coaching clients to help process the past week, I began to think about how what else I could do to be helpful in a season that feels so out of control.

During this international crisis, executives are experiencing profound tension between professional leadership imperatives and their own personal realities.  As humans, we often benefit from help in processing in order to fuel focus and calm.  

As an owner of two small businesses, I get it.  Professionally, in the past 72 hours I’ve been required to cancel two signature events I host each Spring.  I’ve held proactive conversations with team members about safe working arrangements.  I’ve received emails from two universities where I teach graduate courses instructing me to be prepared to convert any live course into an online format.

Personally, I was scheduled to fly to Chicago next weekend for my 13th annual Easter Lamb Cake decorating with my two nieces.  We didn’t even miss this tradition in 2016 when my younger niece was in the hospital for chemo during her courageous pediatric cancer fight (and she’s 15 today and doing fantastic!).  Committed not to let the cancer-crisis get in our way, my beautiful, bald niece, her sister and I decorated our 2016 lamb cake on the food tray of her hospital bed.  In addition, the first week of April my husband and I are scheduled to visit my parents in Florida then take a much-anticipated vacation that’s already been rescheduled twice since October.  I just let out a deep sigh just writing this!

Like so many executives, I am experiencing profound tension between my leadership responsibilities to set the tone in the midst of ambiguity, to create focus that fuels productivity to meet our commitments to our clients, while at the same time I am working through the complexity of personal disappointment, concern for my aging parents (dad is scheduled for heart survey in a couple of weeks), and the undesired feelings that come from not knowing what the next few weeks will bring.

Here are Four DIY tips to manage your mindset during the crisis.

  1. Get your data from legitimate sources. Below are two links from the CDC site, one for their general Covid-19 page, and the other specifically for businesses and employers.  From the main page there are links for information on protecting yourself, what to do if you think you are sick, travel guidelines, information for schools and for community and faith-based organizations

  1. Be very intentional to limiting the attention you give to media’s coverage of the Coronavirus. A year ago my husband and I took a 40-day “news fast” and the resulting peace of mind changed the trajectory of our media (and social media) consumption.
  2. Refuse conversations destined to take you down the black hole of despair, victimization or know-it-all-isms. Know which conversations fuel your courage and sense of peace, and which roil up your nerves! Be proactive.   
  3. Make choices about how you will be your best self as you live and lead during the coming weeks.
    1. We chose to have our groceries delivered because there are men and women who earn their living shopping and delivering our food.
    2. We continue to eat at a trusted restaurant who has clearly communicated its steps for a clean, safe dining experience. And we tip.  Here is a link to a recent article from Forbes on ways to help your favorite restaurant survive the coronavirus.

  1. We are choosing to have our next conversation about our April trip until the week before, when we still have options to reschedule or cancel. (I keep getting worked up when I start researching options. This postpones my getting worked up until I have to make a decision and take steps to change or cancel.)

We’re committed to help in this season of complexity and have created a deeply discounted Clarity in Crisis coaching process for executives – or for their team members.  The process includes three one-hour conversations over a period of one-to-three weeks for any leader seeking to find clarity in the chaos. 

If you, or a member of a team would benefit from a 3-session process designed for short-term support in a compressed time frame, our Clarity in Crisis coaching help you

  1. Cut through emotional complexity and velocity to choose your own priorities of focus
  2. Identify the coming conversations that you believe will be most productive from those that distract and drain
  3. Identify your best next steps, personally and or professionally, that lead you closer to your place of calm and focus.

Click here for more information

For nearly 30 years, Janyne Peek Emsick, Ph.D. has helped leaders find clarity in the midst of crisis, conflict and change.  In this unique season of international crisis, we want to help.  Click the link below for more information.


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