In a conversation with my colleague, Hamacher Resource Group’s director of national accounts, Tom Boyer (both of us 25+ year veterans of the retail healthcare industry), we agreed that although these unprecedented times can cause panic, we believe it can help to hit the pause button before reacting.
Here are a few ideas to consider while pausing:
- Take a moment to prioritize what is most important in your life (if you’re like me, it’s faith and family);
- Start a gratitude journal – think about all the things for which you are grateful. The list should be far more overwhelming than the setback of COVID-19;
- Remind your team that you are in this together and despite not having all the answers, you will stick together and persevere;
- Don’t become paralyzed by the news du jour. Not only is the news cycle addictive, but the source of information may not be fully vetted nor understandable;
- Social distance, shelter-in-place (if ordered), and practice over-the-top hygiene practices to stay well; and
- Respect others and care for those who may be more vulnerable than you.
Once reasonable measures have been taken for those things that can be controlled, it is time to reset and move forward. To achieve that, I think we must do three things:
- Heed the warnings and follow instructions of the health leaders and policymakers all working feverishly to protect our nation — and our world — from this deadly pandemic;
- Revisit all business emergency and contingency plans to be better prepared next time (it is certainly not the time in the midst of this crisis to criticize others, to scramble and undertake massive policy changes, or institute permanent changes); and
- Refine your communication practices – internally and externally – with lessons learned to avoid replicating the turmoil this latest epidemic has caused.
In addition to pausing and resetting, please stay healthy and remain vigilant. As my little sister has continued to remind me, “This too shall pass.”