Ready or not, here we come!

That used to be announced at the beginning of a kid’s game, hide-and-seek. Today, it means that states, businesses, the whole economy engine, are starting to reopen. You may violently agree with that, or vehemently disagree with it. That’s for Facebook, twitter, letters to the editor, and pithy online commentary.

Because like it or not, ready or not, here it comes!

So, let’s be smart about this. I will let someone else cover the PPE aspect of it, as I believe that’s been given enough airtime that you can easily find data and information that supports your desired direction. Instead, I just want to chat about the people.

Your folks will be concerned, no matter where they are on the open yes/no continuum. Fear of a business failing and their job at risk, or fear of being exposed or exposing others to the virus. Either way, there’s fear there. Pay attention to it. Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

People will be a little different (or a lot), especially at first. Proceed purposefully, while being mindful. No ham-handed moves. Think it through.

Some specific tips:

  1. Communicate. Ask for inputs on everything, where even remotely feasible, and give updates so frequently it’ll make you laugh. Varsity-level communications efforts are in order. Two or three various-topic task forces may be a good idea to consolidate inputs and channel feedback.
  2. Keep an eye out for those who may be overwhelmed mentally or physically. Depression, anxiety, and exhaustion are real, and we you’ll need to keep a keen eye out for them all. Liberal use of PTO and EAPs may be in order. Now is not the time – at least initially – to simply say “suck it up, buttercup.” As fond as I am of “Sit down, shut up and color,” that needs to be holstered for the short-term.
  3. Check in regularly. One-on-ones are crucial now, even if brief. Take temperatures (figuratively, unless literal temps are necessary at your place), ask probing questions, see what you can do to help. Don’t rush these, especially at the beginning. They’ll find a natural rhythm before too long.

Use those check-ins to do some real coaching. I’ve created a few videos (more on the way) around Coaching in a Crisis.

Feel free to let us know what else we can do, and if we can help in any way.