Sometimes it’s of your own making and others it’s totally out of your hands. But the fact remains that if you live long enough life can and at some point will be painful. Especially with all we’ve faced in 2020. Whether it’s job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, economic bust, family tribulation, a health crisis, loss of a business, or something else, life can be painful. Let’s face it life can be downright cruel!
Too many people are trying to hold it together professionally while life is personally attacking everything they’ve got. Be honest about it, after all, it’s 2020! Don’t try and hide it because clients, customers, friends, and coworkers recognize when something is different. You don’t have to dump the entire truck, but share just enough so they realize you are struggling. There’s nothing wrong with admitting your struggles in, or outside of the business. In fact, trying to hide it is actually worse. Be honest with clients, but don’t feel you have to unload everything on them. It’s not their burden to bear. Chances are your client has been in this position before, is right now, or can, at last, appreciate it!
Life can be cruel, so can marriage, business, and partnerships. Recognizing the difference between pain and closure is crucial to moving forward. We have a client who always asks me how my family is doing and he’s very kind and empathetic. Sure he expects me to get his work done on behalf of our company for his, but he’s not without heart. Why? Because he was in my shoes “x” number of years ago. He can empathize and resonate with what I’m going through. Truth be known it makes me fight harder for him despite my small baggage.
Someone near you is going through something big. Life odds just say it’s so. And when we fail to listen or notice it can only make things worse for the individual and their work output. But when we notice, acknowledge, empathize, and offer a word of encouragement it’s like getting new tires and fuel in a NASCAR race for that person. Their load is lightened because most of them thought they were the only ones running on empty and old tires.
The best thing you can do is be transparent and honest. Trying to hide things is only gonna make matter worse. People can read people pretty well and you won’t be fooling anyone. That isn’t to say you should unload everything upon an empathic inquiry. Be careful how much and what you share, but don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.
My oncology scheduler (I’m fine!) told me a few months ago that her husband was unemployed from Covid19 and he has gone months without an unemployment check. One of the guys that services my building is trying to get back to serve in the Air Force Reserves after a full stint in the U.S. Army because he and his family needs the benefits. Another gainfully employed friend lost his 5mo’s old daughter to a miscarriage, had a tree fall down on his new barn and he lost a dishwasher and needs a new toilet with three girls in his house! I could go on and on with stories like my friend who avoided Covid19 hibernating from his family only to catch it from his wife. My point is there are thousands of stories (many are far worse) of losses and challenges during 2020.
Other friends are struggling with teenagers who’ve come under some really bad influences via the Internet and downtime in schoolwork, one friend mutilated his wrist requiring multiple surgeries, but no one could be with him, and on and on it goes. In this year of craziness, we could all be Eyeore, the lovable but negative donkey in Winnie the Pooh stories.
Let’s be honest #Covid19, the #economy #politics #security #justice #safety #family all of these things make us worry, concerned, or nervous given the climate of the world today. There is a mutual human need among us. For example, I want the best for my children, but for yours as well. I want health for my loved ones and health for yours. I want peace for you and yours as well as my family. I wish you success in life and business. I want equal justice and the same educational opportunities for your kids as my grandchildren. The #GoldenRule has possibly been never more needed and wanted than 2020.
I wish your family and friends all the best. I wish you health. I wish our businesses and country success. If our company can help yours during these unpredictable times I hope you give us a call regarding your digital message and branding efforts. If we can’t as a fellow human I still wish you all the success in the world. The best vendors and suppliers are intuitive and pick up on your needs as you do theirs. We can get through this with understanding and empathy.
Story Teller/Brand Strategist
Greer, SC 29550864.414.5163