Stay grounded and focused in a time of crisis

Many leaders are being bombarded with information right now – in both our personal and professional lives. You’ve been bombarded with Covid-19 news, organizational updates, school closures and government announcements, all while suddenly shifting to working remotely.

With so much to process, many leaders are feeling disoriented. 

How can we stay grounded and focused with this overwhelming volume of information? As an executive coach and yoga instructor, I want to help people navigate the chaos. In this post, I’ll share some things you can do to stay focused and find your centre.

Shorten your planning horizon

When we help organizations set goals, it is usually for a year-long timeline. Right now, most leaders are working day to day and week to week. CEOs are shifting their focus from annual growth targets to business continuity. 

I suggest setting an objective for the next two weeks to improve focus. What do you want to achieve? How would you prove that you achieved it? To maximize your effectiveness and support of other teams, consider shortening your planning horizon while being specific about what success looks like in this environment. We can return to longer term planning once things settle down a bit.

Be deliberate about what you DON'T do

Now is a time for focus. Ask yourself if the weekly reports or routine tasks you normally ask your team to prepare are relevant in this crisis environment. Is there something better they could do with their time? We need to shift from work that is no longer relevant to work that will have an impact. As a leader, be deliberate about the things you are not going to do right now. Focus on what will have the greatest impact. Push everything else back for now.

Establish your supporting lines

In our Complete Goal™ framework we define outcomes and establish agreements for the critical commitments we need to deliver. What support do you need at this moment? We need to have clear, explicit conversations with the people who are supporting us. Everybody is moving fast right now, so it is critical to ensure the commitments to support are visible, understood and agreed. 

Proactively offer your support to others

Take a moment to think about who you can support right now, especially if they might not recognize that you can help them. Reach out. Offer your support and ensure you are clear on what they need. Think about how powerful it would be to have people proactively reaching out in a thoughtful way. This is even more helpful when we won’t have chance encounters at the water cooler for a while.

Take time for self-care​

To stay grounded, we also need to manage our own anxiety. Lately I’ve had moments where I feel overwhelmed by the latest COVID-19 updates, stock market volatility or the fact that our country’s borders are closing. To release pressure I practice yoga, meditate and spend time with my kids. How do you deal with stress? Perhaps you play music, go for long walks or watch movies. Whatever your practice, lean into it now!

These approaches should help you feel more grounded and focused. If there is anything our experienced coaches can do to help please reach out. 

Stay grounded and focused in a time of crisis
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

Jeff is the Founder & CEO of SupportingLines. He is also a certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, seasoned C-suite business leader and yoga instructor.

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