It has not been long since we first heard of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and it has now spread to different parts of the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it as a global emergency and countries are putting measures in place to manage the situation. While it is natural to feel fear and anxiety at an unknown virus that is still evolving, we need to take a step back and be objective. In times of difficulty, we should connect and reach out instead of discriminate and create division. It is natural to want to hold someone accountable for such a crisis but it does not help improve the situation. We need to come together and face it together.
It is also during such times that leaders can step up and take ownership of the situation. It may be inconvenient for businesses and disruptive to the current workflow but if we stay open and flexible, there are many ways that we can accommodate to the situation and still remain productive. We can remain connected with colleagues whilst they are working from home and support colleagues who are in the front line. While the work still has to be done, we also need to be mindful of the stress that our team and fellow colleagues may be dealing with.
In our ICF Accredited Coach Training Programme, we talk about “Social Awareness” and “Empathy” and how having Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) matters in the workplace. If we just take some time to understand how others may be feeling and be sensitive to their needs, we create the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and make quality connections. And as social beings, we crave for deep connections to thrive. So why not try taking the next 5 minutes to connect with someone at work and just ask, “Have you got any concerns?” or “What more can I do to support you?”. It does not take much to show empathy.