Lead with Compassion When the News Is Terrible…

Chances are, your team is feeling a host of emotions these days — from anger to despair to helplessness. It can feel impossible to focus on work when the world feels out of control. But as a manager, you can’t default to silence when something tragic or traumatic happens. Acknowledge it, and create space for conversation or grief. Address what happened in an email or team meeting.

Share your own reaction, and make sure everyone knows about available resources. Make space for a range of reactions — some team members might see work as a distraction, while others might need to talk. Identify what you can remove from people’s plates: Perhaps you order lunch for your team this week or shift a deadline to take some pressure off.

Finally, help your team channel their energy towards positive change. This could mean establishing a new employee resource group, finding opportunities for the team to volunteer or donate, or simply recommitting to supporting each other when times are tough.

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