Updated: Oct 20
In today's volatile geopolitical landscape, marked by ongoing conflicts like the Israeli-Hamas and Ukrainian-Russian wars, organizational leaders face unprecedented challenges. These events have repercussions far beyond the borders where they occur, impacting the emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals globally, including those within your organization. As someone entrusted with leadership, you have a divine calling to serve as a beacon of light and hope in these testing times.
It's not enough to simply acknowledge the existence of these conflicts; leaders must take proactive steps to address their impact head-on, creating a safe and supportive environment for all team members. Here, I've compiled a list of immediate tasks that leaders should undertake to guide their teams effectively through the emotional and spiritual complexities brought on by global conflicts.
By completing these tasks, you not only show your team that you care but also fortify the workplace against the divisive and corrosive effects of war. These steps will help you fulfill your leadership role in a manner aligned with the principles of love, education, affirmation, and delivery, thereby empowering your team to meet challenges with resilience and grace.
Immediate Tasks for Leaders:
Emergency Team Meeting: Call for an emergency meeting to acknowledge the ongoing geopolitical events and their potential emotional impact on team members.
Open Communication Channels: Establish a dedicated space, whether it's a virtual chat room or an email thread, where employees can share resources, concerns, and support.
Mental Health Resources: Share a list of available mental health resources, both within and outside the organization, such as counselors or helpline numbers.
Offer Flexible Schedules: For those directly affected, consider offering flexible work schedules or remote work options to alleviate some of the stress.
Guided Meditation or Prayer Sessions: Organize optional virtual or in-person spiritual sessions to help staff relax and find inner peace.
Neutral Moderators: If needed, appoint neutral parties to moderate discussions on the war to ensure that they remain respectful and constructive.
Confidential Surveys: Conduct anonymous surveys to gauge the overall mood and particular concerns of your team.
Create a Resource Hub: Compile a list of articles, videos, and other educational materials that offer balanced viewpoints on the situation, and share it with your team.
Review Code of Conduct: Reiterate the organization’s code of conduct and policies on discrimination and harassment, making clear that divisive or prejudicial behavior will not be tolerated.
Ongoing Check-ins: Schedule ongoing, perhaps weekly, meetings to check the pulse of your team and adapt your approach as required.
Encourage Acts of Charity: Promote or organize charity drives or donations for victims of the war, as a way to channel your team's energy towards a good cause.
Seek Expert Help: Consult with conflict resolution or mental health experts for advice on managing the situation effectively.
Align: Make sure your immediate tasks align with the mission and values of your organization.
Balance: Balance the emotional and spiritual needs of your team members with the operational needs of the organization.
Chill: Give your team the time and space they need to process their emotions and find spiritual equilibrium.
Leadership in times of crisis demands more than just operational excellence. It calls for an empathetic, well-balanced approach that takes into account the spiritual well-being of your team. These immediate tasks are your roadmap to achieving this, as you lead your team through the uncertainties and complexities of the current global landscape.
Dr. Wanita Mercer, Ph.D. is the founder and CEO of Lead My Heart, an executive coaching and consulting company specializing in equipping executives and executive teams to live and lead with purpose, passion, and power. She has a Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in organizational leadership, and she is certified in life coaching, executive coaching, change management, project management, executive management, corporate crisis management, and mental health ministry. She has over 15 years of experience as an international educator in the USA and China, motivational speaker, author, and civic leader. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.