No one saw this coming.
In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 Coronavirus has transformed from a news story from the other side of the world, into a global pandemic that no one in our lifetime has ever experienced.
People are scared, understandably concerned for the health and safety of their loved ones. Many are wondering if they will still have a job come Monday… while others are already struggling financially, wondering how they are going to make ends meet.
These are likely concerns you have, too. But its during times like these, that your role as a leader–both within your practice and is your community–is necessitated more than ever.
Contrary to popular belief, being a leader doesn’t mean you have all the answers… It doesn’t mean you’ll know for a fact that everyone will be safe 3 weeks from now.
But what it DOES mean… and what comes down to the number ONE most important role of a leader–is possessing the ability to make others feel safe.
Here’s how to lead during a crisis:
Take care of your most critical asset first
If you’ve ever traveled on an airplane, you know that in the event of an emergency, you should ALWAYS put a mask on yourself first before helping others. (Obviously, because you’re a lot more help to others when you’re not passed out.)
The same holds true in any other situation–if you do not take the time to attend to your own well-being first, you will not be capable of being an effective leader to those around you.
Get yourself into the right headspace by practicing some self-care and ensure your basic needs are met.
Next, attend to the well-being of those closest to you
Once you have your personal health in check, turn to those around you who need your support.
- Prioritize health and safety – Follow CDC guidance and implement policies as necessary to keep your staff and patients safe.
- Open lines of communication – Your staff and patients likely have lots of questions and concerns. Make sure you are communicating with them as changes that will affect them (e.g. clinic closings) unfold.
- Attend to their well-being – We need to be able to connect with those closest to us. Open yourself up to your staff and your family and make sure they feel heard. Even if you don’t have all the answers, do what you can to be supportive and helpful.
Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your basic needs…
You’ve quieted your mind, and you’ve done your best to console and care for those around you. But there’s still work to be done.
In addition to ensuring your family has basic necessities to last at least a few weeks (e.g. that oh-so-hard-to-find toilet paper, food, medicine, etc.), it’s also important to get a clear picture of your financial situation to get a sense of what you have to work with, and where you might have to make sacrifices.
Because while it’s easy to sweep things under the rug and say: “This thing will probably go away within a couple of weeks”, or: “Our clinic will be back up and running in no time”, it’s essential that you prepare for the worst-case scenario by creating a contingency plan. (After all, it’s hard to make those around you feel safe when you’re scrambling to make ends meet.)
Let’s develop a plan together.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll likely struggle with a number of questions (if you haven’t already…)
Do I close the office? What about my staff? How do I survive financially?
These are questions you have never had to face in the past…at least not in the way you have to right now!
We will be hosting a free training on Managing the Unexpected: How to Get Control Back Tuesday at 12pm ET (9am PT) to create clarity on some of the biggest questions currently facing your business.
We will discuss how to best serve your patients, protect yourself financially, address staff concerns and much more.
Go HERE to register.
These are difficult times and it is important we keep calm and work together to get through this.
I hope you will join us.
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By Jamey Schrier
PT, Founder & CEO, Practice Freedom U
March 19, 2020
5 minute read