As a fresh 24-year-old, I have never experienced anything remotely close to this pandemic. I remember being in kindergarten, and my mom picking me up on 9/11. I didn’t understand the economic impact (quite positive the word economic was in my vocab) and was too young to grasp the emotions everyone was feeling.
I haven’t been a CEO or managed a P&L. I am one of the lucky ones that have a work from home compatible job, and as of right now, my family is safe and healthy, but working in LinkedIn all day and talking to some of the most experienced CEOs I know, I thought I would offer some support.
No one has experienced anything like this moment before. We are all in the same boat. There are no answers, there is no definitive plan yet, no timelines, and no idea what tomorrow brings. People are afraid and are wrestling with big decisions; payroll, closing, “sheltering in place,” how to pay their bills. Others are wondering what the correct way to do business is in this new day-to-day.
Acknowledge what is going on.
COVID-19 updates and information have taken over my LinkedIn timeline, my Instagram feed, twitter, and news stations, and it is overwhelming.
A quick “stay healthy” or “hope you and your family are safe” suffices. In messages, offer support, acknowledge the challenge that everyone is facing, and move on.
Don’t take the emotional response personally.
I have seen many emails and had many conversations about how we can continue developing a pipeline in a time like this.
The truth is, we have to.
At some point, hopefully, sooner rather than later, this will be over, and your business will pick up. We must try our best to keep our prospecting and lead generation moving ahead. You can ask to have a conversation (virtually, of course), offer support, or provide a helping hand.
If you receive a less than positive response, it is most likely a reflection of the situation, not the person.
Be polite. Remember that as you receive a message that might seem inappropriate or ill-timed.
Everyone, CEOs included, is trying to find a way to move forward, and they are doing their best.
Remember that at the end of the day, we are all human beings with our stories and circumstances. Everyone is feeling the weight of this pandemic. It can be hard to carry on business as usual in such a trying time. However, be supportive, offer help, acknowledge the situation, and let’s all remember that we are in this together.