Because of…

By Mark McFall, MD Change Recruitment

As I’m writing this the UK is bracing itself for the coming few weeks when so many people are expected to be lost to this virus. The loss of life, the heartache for families in the UK and all over the world, is unimaginable. I’m just hoping the predicted loss of life is far lower than is being stated.

Not only are people losing loved ones to COVID-19, my fear is we also lose a number of people as a result of debilitating mental health challenges heightened by financial worries. Those worries are real and varied, from business owners trying to keep things going through to individuals trying to retain their income to support themselves and/or their families’.

I’m only watching the news once per day, it’s just too much otherwise. Purely for my own sanity I’ve been trying to look for something positive in this situation.

I’ve been lucky over the years to work with a chap called Stephen Gribben, now a close friend, he was my executive coach. He changed my life not just professionally but also personally. I always found his advice and challenging questions useful at any time but never more so when things got really tough. He once talked to me about the “Because of” box, I thought I’d share in the hope that it helps, even just one person, in the coming weeks and months ahead.

When we go to areas of Britain that have been designated “Dark Sky” sites we see more stars that we can anywhere else. If we view this virus as the “Dark Sky” it might help us to see more positives, more stars.

If I give you some examples:

Because of this virus…………………………… Each Thursday evening huge numbers of us across the UK, step outside, lean out windows to clap in honour of our NHS, Care Workers, Key workers and all front line staff. Would that have happened if we weren’t fighting this? A star we wouldn’t ordinarily have seen

Because of this virus…………………. I’m checking in more with elderly neighbours, running errands for them, staying more than the safe distance but having a coffee with them at our front doors. Did I do that before? No, should I have been? Yes, another star we wouldn’t ordinarily have seen.

Because of this virus………………..More people are taking the time to go for a walk or a jog and leave the car in its parking space. Walking to stores that are only a few hundred yards away rather than take the car. Was that happening as much before the virus? No. Another star.

Because of this virus…………… Parents are doing Joe Wicks PE classes with their kids each morning. Was that happening before in quite some many households across the UK? No. Because of the virus people are spending more quality time with their kids. I’m not a parent and I can hear a number of parents shouting at me saying there’s such a thing as too much time with them ! However if you’re all honest, it must be amazing to have this time with them, when else would we have had so much time so consistently with them? And another star.

Because of this virus……………….I’m having to work from home and forced to use technology such as Teams and Zoom to communicate with colleagues, clients and family. Rather than finding it less personal, it’s arguably been more intimate, certainly with my colleagues. We’re inviting each other into our homes every day, we’re getting to meet their children, their spouses. Would that have happened before? Maybe in some cases but not to the same extent. Another star.

Because of the virus…………….Whilst I acknowledge the hardship for so many, the government furlough scheme has helped to save jobs and give people some income where otherwise it wouldn’t exist. However with so many of us on furlough or in my case about to go on furlough, we’ve discussed volunteering, taking time out to do those online courses we’ve always talked about or spend time with family without checking e-mails. Another star.

Because of this virus………… As leaders we’ve had to be much more open to how we do things, for us in our company we have shown that teams of people working from home can still look, act and sound like one team whilst cutting down on daily commutes, allowing people to spend more time with loved one. Another star.

If we can all spend some time looking for positive “Because ofs” then perhaps we can become less susceptible to the harrowing statistics that are making the headlines every time we switch on our TVs or go online. If we spend time thinking about the positive changes we could make as we come out of lockdown we shine a little more light on what our lives could look like in a few months’ time. It would be fantastic if we could help spread positivity around our communities whilst at the same time doing our bit by staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.

When we come through this and we will, lets ensure it doesn’t take another virus to put us into darkness to see what is already there. However whilst this virus is upon us we can choose how we react. Why not try to react in as positive way as possible, because of this what good can come of it? What can you see that you wouldn’t have seen without this happening?

Choose to be a Because of spouse, a Because of parent, a Because of sibling, a Because of friend, a Because of leader.