Odd question I know, just hear me out…
This crisis is going to have catastrophic medical implications for many, many people. Then there’s the economic ramifications. There has already been event cancellations, store closures, industry shutdowns, contracts cancelled (myself included in that one!). Many people could lose their jobs entirely. Some people may lose their life savings in the stock market and other investments. Some maybe even their homes. And worst of all, people already have, and will continue to lose loved ones. This really is unprecedented worldwide.
So why would I ask this question now? The answer is two-fold. First, I’m a certified coach with a background in mental performance training, it’s literally my job to ask these questions that make you sit back in your chair and say “hmm, I haven’t thought about it like that before”. I’ve always firmly believed the old saying “it’s 90% MENTAL, 10% physical”. This idea is applicable in regular everyday life and in times of pandemic created chaos, if anything, it is more applicable. Second, I’m SICK of talking about COVID-19! I am sick of the uncertainty, sick of the terrifying risk to my Mom (she’s immunocompromised and kind of old… love ya Mom ;P). I’m sick of what COVID-19 is showing us about some people’s lack of humanity and care for their communities. I do not want to talk about these things. I want to change the narrative, so I’m going to share some thoughts and tools I would use as a coach with clients, as well as personally.
If you’re familiar with coaching, you already knew this was coming. It starts with asking some different and difficult questions like: “What is PERFECT about this COVID-19 situation? Or “What do YOU WANT out of COVID – 19?” Seems weird to ask these right? True, and the reason is to challenge ourselves to look at a situation from a different angle. By shifting perspective, we can reframe from ‘problem’ to ‘opportunity’, resulting in a change to the narrative. So, here’s some questions to help challenge your thinking, each category is copious so, skip to the ones that apply to you.
- WHAT IS PERFECT ABOUT THIS?!? Seriously, answer that!
- What do YOU WANT out of COVID – 19?
- What could you do if you had multiple weeks at home with no other responsibilities?
- What is the silver lining in this COVID-19 situation?
- What is the best opportunity that you could take advantage of as a result of COVID-19?
- Looking a year in the future what do you want to be able to say in terms of:
- How did I/we handle it as a family?
- Inwardly with each other?
- Outwardly with our small and larger community?
- What did we do to look out for our fellow human?
- Which one of my values does the world need me to showcase right now?
- What would a successful partnership look like for you through this time?
- What would a successful next month look like in your relationship?
- What could you do together or as individuals, in order to set this time up for success?
- What are your shared goals/desires for this time?
- What do you need to know from your partner in order to communicate clearly and effectively during this time?
- What do they need from you in order to support them? If you’re not sure, how could you find out?
- What do you need from them in order to feel supported? If you’re not sure, what’s the best way to address this? ?
- What would make you proud of your partnership during and after this time?
- What is your plan for how you are going to approach conflict when it arises? How is that different, if it is, than your normal conflict management?
- How can you show appreciation for each other in this stressful time?
- How are the two of you going to celebrate these successes when life proceeds to the new normal after COVID-19?
- How are you going to build off of these successes?
- What new strategies will you keep moving forward?
- If you had experienced something similar to this as a child at your children’s age(s), what would you have wanted from your parents/caregivers?
- What age appropriate life lessons would you like your kids to learn from this experience?
- If you have days on end with your kids, what would you like them to be saying at the end of it?
- What do you want to be able to say to your children when they are reminded of this time in history class? What do you want them to say about it?
- How did they want to handle this situation inwardly as a family?
- What may they want to contribute to the bigger family unit?
- How might they serve, safely socially distance, in their piece of their community?
- What’s something you’ve always wanted to know about your kid?
- How can you learn how they think over the next few weeks?
- What is your plan for how you are going to approach sibling conflict when it arises?
- What would make this time special for the kids?
- How can they get involved in the process of making this time count?
- How can they be held accountable (yes at any age) for their attitudes during this?
- How can you remain mindful about growing your relationship with your children during this time?
- What conversations need to be had to help your children navigate the changes in behaviour, schedule and normalcy around them?
- How can you support their needs, for time in and time out, with others constantly under the same roof?
*Stay tuned for a separate post about parenting through all of this.
- What do you need to give yourself permission to say this is all too weird, and I’ll figure it out?
- How will you set boundaries for working at home with children and my partner around?
- What’s my prime consideration for how I want to show up in my virtual new work world?
- How will you stay focused on your company’s priorities?
- What steps could you take to ease your burden when you return to work?
- What will be top of mind when you return?
- What will your priorities need to be during this time and how can you prep for them?
- How can your organization step out in this situation?
- What’s a conversation you’ve always wanted to or put off having with a child, spouse, or family member? (Remember, they can’t run away from you here 😉 )
- How could you manage self care during this time?
- Remembering that rest and hydration is the best key to a healthy immune system, what will your daily practices look like?
- What are you or can you do to support your mental health?
- What are you or can you do to manage your physical health?
- What are you or can you do to be successful in your spiritual health?
- What boundaries do you need to set for yourself and in relation to others in your home?
- What interactions will you encourage?
- What have you learned about yourself so far?
- Who have you shared that with?
- What would make you proud of yourself during this time?
- What is a mantra or phrase you can use, to remind yourself, to reset who you want to be in the moment and throughout all this? Where are you going to post / keep it?
- What about an image or symbol to connect with and where will it be so you can see or feel it often?
- Something to remind you at those critical times, to do what you want to do, say what you want to say, and ultimately and most importantly remain who you want to BE!
The best part of this, is only you know what the right answer is for you. Take your answers to these questions, make a plan based on your realizations, and take the next step.
In this time of so much unknown and feeling like our future is out of our hands, let’s focus on what we CAN control.
We would love to hear what questions were the most impactful for you. If you have questions about coaching for yourself or your organization, even/especially in this time of crisis, please reach out and let us know, we would love to know how we could support you through this.
Always in your corner,
Certified Leadership Coach (CLC)
Associate Certified Coach (ACC, International Coach Federation)
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