Breakout Session 2: Managing Under Covid-19

Date: Oct 09 2020

Ruth Easterling​, Managing Director, Member Services

The pandemic is especially overwhelming as we view of all the headlines in the news and on social media. We don’t yet know the full effect the pandemic – how long it’s going to last or the impact it will have on our health, our families, our businesses or our livelihood. All of this together is why we see anxiety at a much higher level now. We may feel anxiety ourselves, or see it in our family, friends and colleagues.

So how can you help? For all of us, safety and security comes first. When you see people who can’t focus, don’t enjoy pleasure, can’t fulfill daily responsibilities, or can’t exercise, it’s may be time to consider professional help.

Interestingly, as we’ve experienced a huge shift in the work environment and living arrangements, for some it’s been wonderful. On the other side, it’s been totally overwhelming. The dramatic shifts can be negative or positive, and it all depends on the kinds of resources are available, your situation and attitude.

Employers have given time and space for employees to meet their individual needs. Some employees needed time off to move to a secure location, secure childcare, and ensure this important sense of safety and security.

And remember communication is free, and you can never get too much of it. Overcommunicate! Look for different ways to communicate, such as video chats, Q&A sessions, town halls, morning emails, team and individual chats. You can’t go wrong with honest, direct and transparent communications. Ask people - How are you doing? Are you ok? And take note when you see a problem. Say, “You’re not okay; I can see you’re not okay; and now we’re going to do something different.”

How can you help if a negative situation escalates? Keep in mind empathy in raising concerns. One way to approach this is to simply share, “I’m worried about your health and well-being, and the way you are living right now doesn’t allow you to meet your goals.”

What can you personally do to feel calm? Employ the building blocks of healthy living – exercise, getting outside, some kind of meditation, time with pets and good nutrition. Give yourself permission to take a break, and do something soothing. You’ll come out the other side better to those around you.

Ruth Easterling is managing director of member services for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, she works with family and advisor members to understand their objectives and provides guidance to help address their unique needs through the resources available at FOX. Ruth also moderates the Private Trust Company Network and works with the team at FOX to develop programming and insights for the Network. Ruth has held multiple roles at FOX including leading FOX member services, supervising the delivery of learning programs, and overseeing marketing to drive the redesign and brand initiatives that differentiate FOX today.

Area of Expertise: Family Office Best Practices

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