Appropriateness in the time of COVID-19
Because as a business, you are part of the humanity too
The COVID-19 presents an unprecedented time in the history of mankind. Not only does it grind our global economy to almost a halt, it also means it creates an exceptional noisy period in the time of history.
With the lockdown, all conversations are now taking place online. Like murmurs in an echo chamber, everything is amplified and magnified in this virtual, hyperconnected world. Thoughts are vocalised in the speed of cable. And not unlike an essential oil molecule, the noises and images gets unfiltered into our brain membrane in less than 2 seconds.
COVID-19 totally accelerated the transition of physical connection to online connection. It is almost like watching a sci-fi movie fast forwarded. I'm not sure about you, but the phrase "life emulates art" feels exceptionally eerie these days.
Showing up as a business
Yet strangely, in such cluttered, noisy world, how businesses show up becomes even more so glaring.
One contributor at Freelancer.com wisely pointed out that "...Adapting to Covid-19 requires strategy, flexibility and, above all, sensitivity.....without offending your customers."
In in other words, don't show up as a hypocrite or jerk, as the article title suggests.
And This can't be more true.
The impact of COVID-19 goes beyond what we see at the surface.
Since lockdown become more rampant across nations, the herd phenomenon took over. Suddenly, there is a huge surge in thought leaders, business leaders, platforms..etc. taking to the social media to express empathy; offer free mental wellness advice; sell COVID-relevant products and services (essentially re-pivoting), and generated 10 times more content to engage their audience.
As an introvert, my natural reaction was to block out all chatters.
I am unsure what is the intentions of the communicators - are they really just trying to offer support or are do they come with an intention to woo when I am at my most unsure, hence vulnerable moments?
The truth is, I can sense panic on their part too. Every business is being hijacked by the crash in business and demand, they are panic chasing the clients like an abandoned girlfriend chasing after their disinterested ex-boyfriends. Guess what will happen in the process?
Creating a Safe Container
"Creating a Safe Container" is coaches' and facilitators' language. It means creating and holding a safe time-space for our clients and participants. Whether they would like to reflect, express, celebrate or grief in that space, it's a free, non judgmental and confidential place where they can just be.
Often, we are so eager to offer support we forgot the best offer is to just let be. We all need to be with ourselves first - to make sense and sensibility before even having a place to accommodate consolations and suggestions.
Can you imagine watching a movie, when a protagonist is going through a crisis and his or her over zealous beau comes a long brawling eyes out? Life imitates art. Anything excessive, over zealous, is looked upon with suspicion. And when the intention is impure, the more the receiver can suss it out.
In an overly noisy social media of today, I wish my service providers would just personally reach out via an email or text message to let me know they are there for me; offering me a way an dedicated way to reconnect when I'm ready, then quietly excuse themselves to allow me some silence and breathing space.
Remember Elvis Presley's song Only Fools Rush In? Perhaps the song holds more wisdom than it seems to be.
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