To demonstrate the power and strength gained through collaboration, we brought thin metal rods to a team in conflict. We gave one rod to each team member and asked each person to bend their rod. The rods bent easily. Next, we gave one team member ten rods bound together and asked her to bend those. She couldn’t do it, even when she solicited help from others. Like those ten rods joined together, we are stronger together than apart.
Right now, because of social distancing, social injustice and remote work, many employees are bending to the pressures of working from home, teaching their own children, and living with enormous uncertainty. According to Business Wire, 88% of workers reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress during COVID-19, and today one in three Americans is reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety. That is three times greater than the rate in the first half of 2019 (Census Bureau). And as Michelle Obama recently shared, many African-Americans, in addition to worry over the pandemic, are experiencing stress over race relations and the political strife surrounding it.
Are you experiencing any of the following stress indicators?
❓Feeling more tired or exhausted than normal
❓Finding it difficult to focus on basic tasks, and completing work feels difficult
❓Overreacting to small mishaps or events
❓Withdrawing from friends or family
❓Lashing out at friends or family
❓Experiencing more headaches
❓Gaining weight or having trouble sleeping
As leaders, while we may experience our own anxiety symptoms, we are responsible for noticing and addressing stress and anxiety in others. One of the best ways to overcome feelings of stress, fatigue, and restlessness is to connect with others. Remember how easy it was to bend one metal rod, but when bound together they were invulnerable? Notice people who may be isolated and going it alone. Reach out, ask more questions, listen patiently and encourage dialogue. Help others know that they’re not alone.
Download our checklist to help stay connected with your employees.
For more information, contact:
Kittie W. Watson, Ph.D.
President and Founder