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Cheryl Cran

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We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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Our Job In A Pandemic Is Lower People’s Blood Pressure

October 22, 2020

Has 2020 kicked you in the you know what? This is my take on how I/we can focus on our common humanity during the pandemic.

I don’t know about you but 2020 has been a big kick in the seat of the pants.

It seems as if the stress of the pandemic has worn many of us down and caused us more stress both personally and professionally.

I am sharing this in the hopes that you can relate as to how 2020 has gone down for me.

In January we were struck with a dire family situation of life and death – the good news is that life prevailed and we are grateful. In fact this incident made our family anchor in on the mindset that if a situation is not life or death its not worth stressing.

In February a health emergency for my husband resulted in having surgery prior to the pandemic.

In March my husband had post surgery complications as the Covid19 shutdown had begun.

All travel related to our consulting business halted in March and we had to quickly pivot to serve our clients without interruption in promised deliverables.

In April we made the family decision to make a big move away from the city to a rural community.

In May we managed four real estate transactions.

In June my daughter and her family moved to their new home.

In July my husband and I moved to our new home.

In September we began extensive renovations on our new home. We are in the midst of it , its stressful and I realize its a first world problem.

In October I received information about my health that is not serious but will require attention. This made me grateful that I have had robust health for my entire adult life and that I am still healthy and need to continue to focus on my well being.

As we head into November we are all on hyper alert of a second wave of the pandemic AND political uncertainty.

So I share this with you because I have friends who are all going through and have gone through major stuff in 2020.

I know of people who lost their homes due to fires. I know of people who have lost their work. I know of people who have lost loved ones and I know of people who are mentally struggling with the intensified stresses that 2020 has brought.

Here’s what I have to remind myself and I implore you the reader to do in these crazy times:

#1 – Our main job in 2020 and dare I say from now on is do whatever we can to lower the blood pressure of those we interact with.

Recently we were in the city for work and for health appointments. We went to the Disney store to look for a cute costume for our grandson. We were both wearing masks. The worker at the door took a look at my mask and told me it was not to ‘code’. She asked me to take one of theirs – I did. We wear masks everywhere and we use hand sanitizer everywhere. A simple visit to the Disney store became stressful. And then when she said, ‘Have a magical day’ I swear if I wasn’t able to control myself I might have said something very sarcastic.

I share this story as an example of a retail outlet who raised the blood pressure of every single person who entered their store. There is a way to get people to stay safe by communicating in a human way. I felt a complete disconnect from the Disney brand and how I felt about that interaction.

#2 – Maya Angelou said, “people won’t remember what you said but they will remember how you made them feel’.

Never before has this been more true than now. If we are imposing more stress on people we are tainting the experience of the brand. On the same Vancouver trip I shopped at Club Monaco. I had on my mask I used the hand sanitizer and the workers said, “Welcome!” and while I was browsing simply asking how I was doing and generally it felt calming and welcoming.

The contrast between the two experiences stayed with me. There is a difference between being militant with ‘rules’ versus being caring with the that people they are dealing with.

#3 – Everyone and I repeat everyone is stressed right now. If we can remember this we can heighten our ability to stay focused seeking to understand.

The work that I do includes dealing with CEO’s, leaders and workers and I am finding that the more I can bring clarity and peace to them the more they feel that they can carry on. Whether its through a keynote message or its through virtual coaching people want to feel as if they are seen and understood.

#4 – The best way to help lower people’s blood pressure is to focus on the humanity that we all share. Your problems may not be my problems however if I have compassion for our common humanity then I can better relate and communicate. In other words if I can focus on how we are ‘all in this together’ and that we are ALL having our own challenges then we can build a bridge to deeper understanding.

So a parting question for you:

Are you communicating and interacting in a way that is calming and helping people or are you raising their blood pressure?

I know for me I am focused the former not the latter.