Anyone who has been a leader knows it can be a very lonely job. It’s challenging to find people you can trust to share ideas with or vent frustrations before solving problems, and you certainly can’t share your thoughts with those you lead.

And yet, leaders need to begin the process of creating community in their organizations by first finding their own community and safe space. Just like flight attendants instruct passengers to first put on their own oxygen masks before helping others, so must leaders look after themselves to be helpful to their employees. How do they do this?  It’s imperative they reach out to the varied associations that connect leaders so they might begin building a cohort or support network.

The power of language on expectations

Once leaders have found a community for themselves, they can then begin to create it for their employees using a safe platform where honest questions and anxieties can be shared.

Leaders also need to recognize that many employees may not know where to go to seek support and assistance from available health care providers, government services, or community services. What is absolutely clear is, the more leaders can connect employees to resources, the more they can foster the culture of being there for each other.

Shona Welsh of Ovation again welcomes Counselling Therapist Kimberly Schaschl as they explore these aspects of creating a sense of community in this bizarre time of being separate.

About the contributorS:

In their highly interactive workshops, OVATION speaker trainers have helped countless individuals transform their ability to connect to their audience and deliver authentic and meaningful messages with impact. Now, more than ever, communication with some oomph is an essential skill. At a time when our emotions swing from overwhelmed to irrational, our ability to communicate effectively follows suit and it can be hard to remove the anger, frustration or even fear from our voice, let alone from our message … and that can have all manner of consequences.

Shona Welsh, BA, MCEd, CHRL, CCC is a communication and speaking expert who has won numerous speaking, writing and learning design awards. The author of several books and designer/facilitator of hundreds of international workshops in speaking and communications, she has held international senior executive positions over three decades. She teaches extensively about leadership, communications, and innovation with numerous universities and colleges.

Kimberly Schaschl BA BEd M.Ed Psych is a counselling therapist who has worked in the field of mental health and education for over 30 years. She has a wealth of experience assisting clients from school age to adulthood on a wide range of mental health and life management issues. She is a registered member of the College of Licensed Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick.

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