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Showing posts with the label COVID-19

Returning to Normal Means Recalibrating My Brain

The pandemic retreat doesn’t necessarily mean life will get easier for people with OCD. Brushing my teeth is a struggle. I brush so hard, and for so long, that sometimes my gums bleed. I can’t spit until I’ve touched each tooth carefully with the tip of my tongue. I open and close the medicine cabinet repeatedly, pressing my palm into the pointy corner of the mirror, until it feels like enough. I can’t leave the bathroom until I’ve flipped the light switch on and off a dozen times. Some nights, the routine takes 30 minutes. Some nights, I lean over the sink and cry. My obsessive-compulsive disorder manifests in rituals: small, repeated behaviors that my anxious little brain demands. If you do not do this thing, my brain explains, something terrible will happen to someone you love. Fear of contracting a deadly virus, combined with the total disruption of my work and social life, has multiplied my compulsions, which now require much more of my time. The same is true for others living wit

Lead Your Team Into a Post-Pandemic World

During the Covid-19 crisis, I’ve spoken with many CEOs who have shared that a key priority for them, naturally, has been the safety and well-being of their employees. And there are many examples of inspiring actions taken by CEOs and companies in support of their employees. But as we’ve come to recognize that this crisis will last more than a few short weeks, companies are now defining their approach for the long haul. I’ve seen two crucial ideas take hold with corporate leaders. One: Given the magnitude of the shock and the challenges that this crisis represents, companies must consider the full breadth of their employees’ needs as people. Safety is essential, of course, but it’s also important to address higher-level needs such as the want for truth, stability, authentic connections, self-esteem, growth, and meaning in the context of the crisis. Two: Many CEOs have begun thinking about this crisis in three phases. They may assign different names or specific lengths to t

5 Tips for Safely Reopening Your Office

Open now? Open later? As the debate rages about restarting economies, one critical element is absent from the discussion. The predictor of our success or failure will have less to do with when businesses open their doors and more to do with how often people open their mouths. Decades of research suggest that the heart of a high-reliability culture is immediate peer accountability. A few years ago, John Noseworthy, CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, proudly told me about a nurse who confronted him when he forgot to use hand sanitizer as he exited an elevator. He said, in effect, “If everyone in our system will speak up to forgetful colleagues, no matter their level or position, we can avoid most incidents of preventable harm.” And he was right. And yet, in late April, at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vice President Mike Pence entered the Mayo Clinic to learn about their research efforts. During his tour, provided by Mayo leaders who all wore masks, Pence proceeded bare