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Five Practical Tips for Working from Home &
Seven Helpful Tips for Communicating with Clients

Leah Nelson, Nelson Leadership

 

Our 'mental maps' of how life is 'supposed' to be have all been turned upside down, as Dr Henry Cloud says. Stay in as much of a routine as possible when working from home. Again, structure builds endorphins and fights off anxiety. On that note, here are five practical tips for working from home:

Get Up And Go To Bed At Same Time
Get Dressed

Guys: Shave. Ladies: Put on your makeup and do your hair. You probably will do this anyway if you are on video calls but for those of you mainly on the phone, I’d recommend still doing this. When you feel dressed for work, you are also more productive, and it helps to normalize this situation.

Exercise Every Day

Even if it’s just walking around the block. Get outside. Exercise helps endorphins which also helps your sleep. Sunshine will help your mood too.

Set Working Hours

Start and then STOP. Go do something else after work. Spend time with your family, get your mind on something else. If you work 24/7 and can't let it go, you will drain your brain. This environment is already more mentally draining than normal times. 

Don’t Look At The News

Until you are mentally and emotionally ready for the day (dressed, exercise, etc.). Otherwise, you are more likely to catastrophize the rest of the day. What you do first sets the mood for the day!

 

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Seven Helpful Tips for Communicating with Clients 

By Leah Nelson, Nelson Leadership


Stay Connected And Ask For What YOU Need  

Be selfish about this. You are needing to source others. Reach out to your own community of leaders first and fill up your tank so that you will have something to give to others. Most of us have a Judge in our heads that will talk back to us about this. Tell it to quiet down for now! The demand on your own emotional and mental energy is much higher now than usual.  To make it thru this, you MUST keep your own tank as full as possible. 

Keep Structure. When There Is No Structure, Create It

Research is consistent that when people in crisis go back to work and structure as soon as it's safe, they heal more quickly.  Structure provides predictability and lowers anxiety.

Listen to People's Fears and Take Them Seriously 

Once people have been heard and let you know that they have been heard (the true test), then work with them on action steps of any kind.  When partnered with EMPATHY and VALIDATION, action steps also help people feel less overwhelmed.  

Remind People, We Are All In This Together

Stay connected via video, if possible, to bring some normalcy to this time.

Be Exceedingly Human

By that, I mean that you should demonstrate your concern for the very real fears and anxieties that your people are experiencing, not only professionally and economically, but socially and personally. Even though you don’t have definitive answers to all of their questions, don’t let that keep you from listening to them and empathizing with their fears. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, you should not be hesitant to share your own concerns with your people. They want to know that they can relate to you and that they are not alone in their concerns.

Be Persistent

This is not a time to hold back. Send people updates and regular communication, even if there is not a lot of new information and the message is largely personal. No one will look back at this time and say, “my manager was so annoying with all the encouraging e-mails checking in on me.” When people are isolated, over-communication is more important than ever.  

Be Creative And Try New Things

Call semi-regular video-conference meetings that allow employees to not only talk about work, but to share their experiences dealing with this situation. Heck, you can have them share movies and games and other tools that they are finding to be helpful with their families and invite them to tell stories about what is going on in their worlds. Crises provide an opportunity for people to come to know one another and establish bonds that will endure long after the crisis is over.

What You Should Avoid

Do NOT appear cold or impersonal in the name of “business as usual,” or being absent or inconsistent in the name of “giving people space,” or being afraid to try something new. These unprecedented times call for you to stretch beyond your normal comfort zones and be even more vulnerable than usual. Six months from now, you’ll look back and be glad you did.  



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About the Author

Leah Nelson
Leah is a highly skilled leader with over 24 years of military, business and sales experience. As an executive coach, she has helped individuals and businesses achieve new levels of results. She can be reached at leah@nelsonleadership.org or 760.521.7919.

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