A lot of us lead on autopilot. We focus on ideas, execution, process, and results. We are programmed to prioritize production over everything, especially during times of crisis. But let’s not forget about the people.
Start with them first. Schedule phone or video check-ins with staff, individually or collectively, to ask about their well-being. Conversation starters like “how are you feeling?” and “how can I support you?” are underrated when the world feels heavy. These questions offer a moment for people to feel their feelings; to exhale a bit—and gives them a chance to open up and share their needs. Listen. It’s one of our primary skills as journalists. Use it in your newsroom (which is now, perhaps, virtual), with the intention to acknowledge and validate staff concerns.
Make sure you extend that same care to yourself. Block out time on your calendar for self-check-ins and do something for you. Get moving and go for a walk or run, if you can. Get lost in your favorite album or playlist. Get quiet and journal. And get clear on the leader your team needs right now.