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Dana Beal, International Speaker, Author and Coach

Working During a Pandemic: Relationships Are the Key

By Danna Beal, M.Ed.
International Speaker
Author and Coach

See all this Month's Articles

Original Publish Date: August 4, 2020

Coping in a pandemic is a skill in which we have not been trained, nor have we experienced an event of this worldwide magnitude in our lifetime. Healthcare, the essential service needed to deal with this health crisis, has had an inordinate amount of responsibility and has been required to shoulder so much throughout the country in a multitude of ways. New information, new discoveries, new guidelines are contributing to a constant sense of, “What’s next?”

In addition, people everywhere are experiencing an underlying and pervasive level of anxiety because we are in the realm of the unknown. Humans are comfortable with the status quo and most people do not relish change, unless initiated by themselves. The nation has been rocked during this time of uncertainty, causing real issues, both individually and collectively, to bubble to the surface. Much needed changes are being brought to the forefront, but not without resistance and division. The current protests around the country, political battles, and interruptions in schools and businesses have all greatly increased apprehension. Essential guidelines such as masks, staying-at-home, and social distancing, though necessary, have created feelings of isolation, loss, fatigue, sadness, and fear. The financial impact is still immeasurable. We are experiencing growing disruptions to our normal way of life, life as we have known it.

So, if you are feeling a variety of alternating emotions, you are not alone. We are all going through mood swings—feeling okay for periods of time and then suddenly sliding into overwhelm and exhaustion without warning. Our natural spirit, sense of hope, and desire to be happy, keep us moving forward, but the strangeness of the unparalleled and unprecedented time in history can suddenly derail us.

Your Healthcare Organization Is a Network of Relationships

Whether you are working on-site or in a virtual job, how you relate to others is paramount. Relationships are vital and are the basis of the societal structure in our world. Humans are social animals and we need one another. The principles for cooperation and mutual growth in families, communities, and society, also apply in the workplace. Collaboration, respect and imagination are the pathways to finding solutions, new ways to work, new procedures and alternate means to provide services.

Creativity, efficiency, and teamwork occur when your organization utilizes the power of group will—a force derived from individuals working together, combining their energy and ideas. Keeping this imaginative process flowing relies on open and transparent relationships that are free from the static of ego drama, one-upmanship, blame, and sabotage. A breach in open communication can lead to the unraveling of relationships, resulting in breakdowns in services and operations--much like a break in electronic circuitry.

Trust is the very basis of cooperation. If you are not creating trust, starting at the top and going throughout the organization, fear will overtake and undermine the best plans. When people are working in fearful environments, they are hesitant to make decisions, always looking over their shoulders, avoiding responsibility, unwilling to take risks, afraid of making mistakes and are not fully committed. Human beings need to feel valued and included. Enlightened leaders honor all members resulting in increased loyalty and commitment to the organization and its goals.

Great Leaders Rise in a Crisis—Artificial Leaders Fail

More than any other time, people need you to be an enlightened leader who can be trusted and believed. As an enlightened leader, you can be the source of strength for others through inner, authentic power rather than artificial ego-driven power. Ego-driven leaders have traits of self-aggrandizement, needing recognition and praise, acting superior, blaming others, needing to be right, and being defensive. They may appear powerful, but they are unknowingly operating from fear—dread that they will be exposed. Artificial leaders fail in the face of a crisis and the breakdown of the leader becomes the breakdown of the team and organization. “Beware of children dressed as powerful adults. Do not be beguiled,” is what I suggest in my book, THE EXTRAORDINARY WORKPLACE: Replacing Fear with Trust and Compassion.

As a truly great leader, you can bring the unification, commitment, and vision that inspires and empowers those you lead. Enlightened leaders have traits of humility, integrity, compassion and self-reflection. Enlightened leaders honor the spirit in themselves and see that same spiritual essence in others. The Golden Rule applies here in two ways; what we see in ourselves, we see in others, and, what we give to others, we actually give to ourselves. When people can count on you to lead from the heart, in which you treat everyone with respect and honor, you’re operating from what I call, “the BE LOVE” model of leadership, the organization will rise.

Guidelines for Building Trusting Relationships in the Workplace

We Are All Interconnected

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all interconnected on this planet. The Covid-19 virus has shown us that neither territorial boundaries, bodies of waters, positions of power, wealth or ethnicity can disconnect us as a human society on this planet. Isn’t it logical then, that we seek to rebuild relationships that recognize our equality, honor our differences, and bring reconciliation and unity to our organizations and our world? Why would we not want to see that we are one global family of diversity, beauty and splendor—one interconnected world?

As Albert Einstein stated:

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe’. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Danna Beal, M.Ed., lives in the Seattle, WA area where she is an international speaker, author, retreat/workshop leader, and executive coach. She has spoken to thousands of businesses and conferences and has been on countless radio shows, podcasts, and webinars discussing “Enlightened Leadership” and “Workplace Culture” based on her book, “The Extraordinary Workplace: Replacing Fear with Trust and Compassion.” Her audiences and clients have included: Seattle Science Foundation--Spine Surgeons Grand Rounds, Swedish Hospital and Medical Groups, Kaiser Permanente Grand Rounds, Oakland, CA, AHRA, Orlando, FL, Federal Aviation Administration, Overlake Hospital Perioperative Conference, Radia, numerous physician practices and hospitals. Her website is