Whether realizing it or not, every leader now has the added job of being a psychologist.
Everyone is in crisis because the foundations of our human buildings have been shaken.
One foundation of our human buildings is our sense of connectedness. Our relational connections are knitted together, like a fabric. People who are rooted and grounded have brains that work better. But what does a pandemic do? It blows apart all of our connections, directly affecting the wiring of humans.
Another foundation is structure. When you build a house, you build a slab and then you frame it. Humans need to have a frame. We operate around structure. Structure is time and place for how we function. We have routines and schedules. God wired people’s brains to work in a structure — days, nights, Sabbath, festivals, all of this has a routine.
If we don’t have routine, our physiological and neurological systems get booted. If people don’t have routine and structure, the brain goes crazy.
A final foundational human element is control. Our brains are designed to have choices. God meant us to have self-control and choices. But what happens in a pandemic? No choices! All of our choices have gone away.
So now we’ve found ourselves in a context where we’ve lost our foundations of connectedness, structure and control. As a leader and a human, you are now called upon to lead in ways that are proactively and strategically intersecting these parts of how a human is constructed — making you something of a psychologist.
You’ll have to get intentional about this, and you can start by thinking about your own concentric circles of relationship — personally and professionally. Think about the people that fuel you, and then work your way out. This will help you develop a sort of “dosage” schedule for your connectedness that you can then apply to your employees and your stakeholders. Bring some of what fuels you into your relationships with them to help them feel connected in their respective roles.
Another one of your biggest roles as a leader is communicating all of this clearly. By helping people know that you understand what they are going through, you can increase that sense of connection. Be empathetic, clear and authentic. Talk about who you’re connected to in the larger network, which helps instill confidence and lets people know they are a part of a bigger picture. You’ll also need to tell people about a longer narrative. Recognizing that this is just a scene in a long movie helps the brain to function more normally.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Henry Cloud