Do you really know what emotions or state of mind your colleagues or clients on your next video call are experiencing at this moment?
And why does it matter when you all are getting paid to work?
Take a moment to read this, because often the most gregarious or emotionally strong person on the call may be in a vulnerable state of mind. You may be the only safe or compassionate connection for a colleague today.
Yesterday I was verbally assaulted, including vile curse words, racial slurs, and threats to my property. The scene erupted from a man I had never met who was walking his dog in our peaceful neighborhood lined with old oak trees.
In a state of shock, I had less than 30 minutes to gather my Grace before teaching a live virtual workshop on cultivating a positive mental attitude to executive women. Later the same afternoon I attempted to smile and listen during my global entrepreneur mastermind group call, while taking calls from my attorney, worried neighbors, and the Orlando Police Department.
Seeing a smiling face on the video conference call was my emotional lifeline. I know many of those women share different viewpoints than me, so why did it feel safe?
We show up for each other as humans, and business comes second.
How can you show up for your people when we are all divided?
If you look at the statistics of how divided and confused the US is about politics, wearing masks, social gatherings…chances are the same division arrives at each one of your meetings. As leaders, we assume if we ignore the 24/7 news cycle, we can all push through the workday.
Like me, you likely have an extended family and close friends on both sides of the political aisle. We are a healthcare family, yet have close friends who question the pandemic and the recommended guidelines.
We show up for each other first; our viewpoints come second.
Prioritize the person. Create an environment of emotional security.
Create emotional security with compassion and forgiveness
Forgiveness is the only way we will all be able to move forward to heal the division. Each person feels sad, angry, and overwhelmed with the state of the world right now. Can you forgive someone for having a different point of view?
To the gentleman with the beautiful golden labrador retriever, we have never met. As I tried to share compassion and de-escalate the situation, your rage built up. You made the wrong assumptions about my citizenship status, political viewpoints, and sexual morality.
Let this be a lesson to us all on how quickly we misjudge one another. I have certainly been guilty of this same action when I am not mindful.
None of the neighbors have met you or your sweet dog, but we represent the rest of the US’s same diverse viewpoints. We help neighbors in need during this pandemic by delivering groceries and sharing a smile. When storms fill our yards with debris from the old oak trees, we grab landscaping tools and help each one another cleanup. We know every home by the dogs (and yes, a few cats) who live there.
My dog Rahja and I forgive you.
And when you wearily get on that next video conference call, show up for your people. You never know who may need to see your smile and feel your connection today.