Navigating COVID-19: Practical Advice from a Key4Women Expert – Julie Kratz
While we all may feel a bit disconnected from our routines, our workplaces, co-workers and friends, the extended Key4Women® team is busy leaning in to bring practical advice to others during this time of disruption resulting from COVID-19.
"What we realize, more at this time than ever, is that the relationships we’ve built together over the past 15 years through this network are steadfast and dedicated to helping each other for the greater good," said Barb Smith, Director, Key4Women. "We can proudly say that our Key4Women members in communities across the nation are strong strategists, experts at flexibility, calm leaders in the face of crisis and niche professionals who willingly band together for the future success of one another – even in the most uncertain of times."
Here are some thoughts and advice from one of our experts at Key4Women:
Julie Kratz, TEDx speaker, inclusive leadership trainer, author
CEO, Next Pivot Point
Perspective During COVID-19
"Looking through the lens of diversity and inclusion, I’m watching closely how women are portrayed during COVID 19," said Kratz. "We see women heroes sharing their expertise and empathy in the pandemic response – first responders, governors and scientists – working in unbelievable conditions to keep us all safe."
On the flip side of the gender issue, there is a return of "how to do it all at home" communications targeting women. Now that our homes are our offices, our schools, our restaurants and our childcare centers, the roles within the home have multiplied and become more complex. It’s important that large corporations and small businesses alike frame this conversation as a human and a parental issue, not specifically a woman’s issue alone.
According to Kratz, as we navigate this time of high stress and anxiety, it may be an ideal time to pause and "reset" with a bit of mental selfcare. Ask yourself why you "do what you do." Does your work still give you energy? Do you enjoy your work enough that you lose track of time while you are doing it? If not, is it time to pivot? Listen to your answers and plan from them.
Journaling is also recommended by Kratz. "When you put your fears and challenges in writing they become less powerful," she commented. "In addition, positive journaling helps to envision your future. What do you want the balance of 2020 to look like? On New Year’s Eve 2020, what do you want to look back on and say, ‘I did it’?"
An Enlightening Observation
Our job descriptions have not changed during the pandemic, but how we are working certainly has. Most of us are now virtual workers – many for the first time – and this changes the dynamic of our teams and, possibly, the effectiveness of our work.
Technology allows for face-to-face communication with our coworkers, and clients and studies show that this type of communication gets better results. Beyond technology, trust in yourself, your abilities and in each other. Trust makes communication work better, even in these most disruptive of times.