The coronavirus reveals to us how we are all interconnected. Our individual actions can affect anyone anywhere in the world. Adopting a mindful and compassionate attitude can affect future outcomes in a positive way. Taking care of our actions and attitudes at an individual level can have a global effect.
Creating positive contagion
As the pandemic is upon us, we have an opportunity to contribute to the global economy in a mindful and ethical fashion. It is so clear to us now that we live in an interdependent global economy. Our everyday interactions, the products we buy, the people with whom we interact could be from anywhere in the world from the United States to India, from China to Europe. Nowhere is isolated anymore. When we look at this situation from an ethical perspective, we can see that we’ve got a responsibility not only towards our colleagues and family but also towards all those people with whom we interact. Whether it is people in the store, or our own clients, or our work colleagues. We are all interconnected. The crisis is an opportunity to look for new strategies and means to support each other.
A mindful and compassionate approach.
Our interconnected culture and economy highlight the necessity for mindfulness in our movements and everyday interactions.
Adopting a mindful attitude can help us become more conscious of our movements in the physical world: what we touch and don’t touch. Watching ourselves to see if we are really taking on board the advice of the medical authorities and governments. We can be mindful of our manner of communicating, even if we have to keep a physical distance. How can we reduce the relational and emotional distance with others? How can we support others? How can we use all of the modern communication mediums in a caring and positive way? There are ways we communicate that are positive, wise and supportive.
The pandemic reveals the need to nurture a compassionate attitude in the best sense of this term. Compassion in its best sense means remembering that what I do influences others and I want the best for others, ( I include myself in this wish). Therefore an attitude of compassion will be far more productive than a self-centered attitude of « I have to protect myself at every cost ». The latter is counterproductive and will damage our relationships and our economy. The positive opportunity is to adopt an attitude of open-minded compassion toward this situation.
A mindset of compassion could help us see more clearly how we can contribute to improving the situation as quickly as possible. It is by far our best opportunity to find good solutions.
A role for coaches and leaders
As a coach, I see my role as that of helping people through coaching conversation to use their own intelligence to find the best approaches to new and challenging situations. People have an amazing capacity for innovation and problem-solving. Challenging situations can be the catalyst for positive change. The medium of the coaching conversation is an excellent one for exploring new ideas and options.
I think this is where the whole coaching community can contribute to this situation in a positive and significant way.
We are not in the same situation as our ancestors who lived through the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. We have a more developed medical system, more capacity for scientific research into treatments, we have also more developed government systems and economies. We have technological and scientific advantages that far exceed those of the early 1900s. We also have the experience of having lived with the global economy for many years. There are many real opportunities for us to approach this situation and have a real and positive impact by adopting these attitudes of mindfulness, compassion, and positive collaboration.
Simply adopting a compassionate attitude and mindful attention to the present moment can make a big difference to outcomes in the near future. Each individual thought, word, or action can contribute to a globally positive outcome.