Ask Martha

What We Look for in Uncertain Times

April 29, 2020


Hi everyone!  How are you doing?  Gee, who would have imagined that we would be in quarantine and even talking about it still and for how long??  Ambiguity, lack of defined game plan on how to get back to work, will we really be able to find toilet paper in three weeks’ time?  Looks like this might be going on for a few more weeks at least, right?  

This blog is to help guide us through from the shock of going remote very quickly to the managing in the unknown area for who knows how long exactly.   The below tips can apply to our work lives, our work teams, our families… Again, us control freaks, we are probably twitching a bit… hang in there!!

  1. Take Meaningful Action – Continue to look at what needs to be done, we now know that this ‘temporary’ is taking longer than originally imagined, what actions need to be taken now and why?  Are these decisions based on opinion, emotions or facts?  We need to do what needs to be done and know why it needs to be done and by when.  This might need to be an activity of scenario planning around important family or business elements.  Work to gain insight from key stakeholders and to build consensus but move with purpose and confidence.   
  2. Create excellent and concise communications – If it really is necessary, say it!  If it adds value,  say it! When you do say it, keep it simple! Short and Sweet pretty much sums it up. Think about what the intention is of what you want to really get across in terms of message.  Short concise statements, providing examples if you think it might still be unclear, will go so very far in terms of people understanding what you are trying to say, and it also takes a lot of angst and anxiety out of the situation.  
  3. Empathy – Continue to be human, this is a grind for sure, and everyone is in it together, that little moment of patience, empathy and kindness will be like throwing a stone in the pond, the ripples will propagate in the most positive way.
  4. Positivity – not really Pollyanna positivity, but more like the unsinkable Molly Brown kind of positivity. Plain old grit, determination and thinking of a way to succeed will definitely impact the outcome in a very good way.
  5. Be Smart!  You actually don’t have to have all the answers and it’s actually okay to ask for help and get input on how to move forward, your family, team, workmates might appreciate seeing this side of you.  Weird fact, by asking for people’s input, you will get a better plan of attack than if it was developed in a vacuum.  

A great quote by C.S. Lewis that might help us see light…” Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”  Extraordinary… Here we come!!!

Chin up, be safe, be kind and behave, let’s all follow those guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Until Next time!