Featured image depicting Rather than social distancing, let’s call it physical distancing

Rather than social distancing, let’s call it physical distancing

How do we stay connected personally and professionally in a time of physical separation?

By Kelli Bettenhausen  |  March 26, 2020

Today, I had the privilege to be a part of a dynamic conversation with a group of women from the Generative Council from the Center for Nature and Leadership. During the conversation, our host shared a thought that I would like to share with others. She stated, ‘rather than social distancing, I prefer to call it physical distancing.’

I was talking with my sister whose best friend’s aunt is currently dying from Covid-19. I am pretty positive, I am not the only one who knows someone directly affected by this virus. We are all being affected in sad and unforgettable ways. Right now, we are isolated to our home, not able to attend gatherings in restaurants, bars, beaches and the list goes on. So, we do have to physically distance ourselves. However, that does not mean we have to socially distance ourselves.

As a consultant with JMJ, there is a foundational principle we share with leaders in a variety of organizations that I hold very dearly – ‘relationships are the foundation of accomplishment’. Specifically meaning, there is a direct correlation to the depth and amount of relationships to the accomplishment we seek to make a reality. As we seek to persevere through the coronavirus as families, neighborhoods, communities, countries and the world, there are opportunities to be social and be in relationship to one another.

Today, I watched several stories and examples where organizations and people are demonstrating care, concern and support of one another. Watching these stories, I felt hopeful, proud and optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very sad with additional negative emotions. However, I know that in the midst of this, I needed to see these messages:

  • The Salvation Army is preparing packaged meals for people who are hungry
  • Healthcare providers are giving themselves in all types conditions to make sure those in need during this time have timely care
  • Manufacturing sites changing their focus and providing supplies on their own accord. Specifically, a distillery in Tennessee, America is utilizing their facility to make hand sanitizer. Do they have to do this? No. However, the need exists, they have the means and they care about people
  • Educators and school districts, in a very short timeframe, are virtually educating our children who are home during these times because they care about our children’s welfare

So, as we physically distance ourselves, let’s be social. Let’s build relationships so that we can accomplish an incredible goal – Beat Covid-19 and keep everyone safe. Here are some examples that myself and others are currently doing to be social, please share any ideas you may have to add to this list.

  • Share positive stories from those who are building relationships, volunteering and providing services to our people and communities
  • Create virtual groups and share concepts, stories and opportunities
  • Inquire with others on how they are doing, what are they doing. Reach out to one another
  • Host a family dinner virtually especially during Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
  • Sing from the balcony with your neighbors just like the stories in Italy and Spain
  • Acknowledge those who have made an impact on your or others
  • Attend workouts from local gyms who now host free sessions online
  • Join online learning communities and learn a new skill

You are not alone and there are plenty of innovative ways you can be social virtually. Please share your examples.

About JMJ

For over three decades, JMJ has been delivering impactful cultural change to help executives, leaders and front-line workers transform safety, sustainability, and business performance. We combine the deep experience of our people with our proprietary Transformation Cloud platform to deliver breakthrough results, making the impossible possible. www.jmj.com

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