COVID-19 Is Calling For Better Questions

I apologize. The unfortunate release of last week’s article on the hand-shake was humorous if not uncanny — and profoundly poorly timed. That’s what I get for scheduling ahead. 


But this week, things are more serious and even less humorous as COVID-19 gains momentum and increases its impact on the world. We can’t know when or how this will all end, or what our businesses, communities, economy, health or civility will look like when it’s over — if “over” is ever even a reality. So the best we can do is recall Abraham Lincoln who said, “The best way to predict the future is to create the future.” 


As a leader, let’s remember to also ask the different questions as well. 


Yes, for those running businesses and organizations, questions of operations, cash flow, staff and resiliency are imperative — and they’re not the only questions to ask. What about:


  • If we can care this much during the crisis, how can we carry that compassion forward when it’s over?*
  • Do we have an opportunity to rethink how we price and serve our markets to reduce the negative impacts of viral and economic pandemics?+
  • What have we learned about how quickly we impact the environment?^
  • What’s really important?
  • What about “pre-corona” is no longer valid?
  • Were we over-stretched, over-leveraged, or over-extended in a way that put us at unnecessary risk?


Despite how it feels, it’s not completely bad. I in no way want to dismiss the devastating impacts befalling all-too-many as family members fall ill and jobs simply disappear as businesses close for weeks, maybe months, at a time. The suffering many people are feeling is very real and deserves its share of attention and processing. There just happen to also be hopeful realities as well. 


Like every up has a down, every front has a back, this virus, miraculously, seems to have a good side. 


^Has anyone else been pleasantly shocked at the environmental benefits of the worldwide quarantine? Dramatically reduced pollution over China and across Europe, especially Italy, which has seen dramatic drops in Nitrogen Dioxide and clear water in the canals of Venice


*And if that’s not enough, the outpouring of kindness between neighbors that we’ve seen is nearly unheard of in these divisive times. 


+Fees are cut or removed to give people access to tools to help with their confinement, grocery stores are creating special hours exclusively for elderly so they can shop with less fear…in times of serious tragedy, our true nature comes out and we realize, if it wasn’t for us, each of us, all of us together — then what’s the point of any of it? 


We want to seek hope where we can find it. As a leader, what better, more positive and empowering questions can you ask that could bring you and your team out of fear, and into control and possibility?


At this time more than most, we need camaraderie and connection; a safe space to think and feel out loud so we can solve problems that move life and hope forward. I have formed a virtual weekly coaching group designed to be such a place; the investment will be waived for the duration of the quarantine and sessions will be recorded and sent to subscribers in case you can’t attend. This is a place where we will learn how to ask better questions together, and coach together through to actions and evolving solutions. Join us. This isn’t the time to pull back, it’s the time to lean in — to carve a few minutes out of the week to be deliberate. Click here to sign up, and details will follow.