These are challenging and uncertain times for everyone right now whether you are in business or not. COVID-19 came at us when were unprepared, but why is that people have had different responses to the crisis?

This is something that I am sure psychologists will be researching even as we speak. But, rather than get into my psychology based learning, I wanted to share with you some of my knowledge around what makes people tick from my experience with profiling or psychometric assessments.

Perhaps the simplest starting point for me as a DISC accredited practitioner is to explore the basic dimensions of DISC profiling. From these fundamental behavioural traits then individuals are either outgoing or reserved, and some are people focused whilst others are task focused. As you can imagine these two dimensions alone mean that there will be a variance in how comfortable people are being cocooned in their own homes.

Who do you think will be finding things the most difficult?

The natural response is likely to be ‘those who are more outgoing and/or people focused’ as they are not able to get out and see people. These are the people that have likely been organising online meetings and catch up’s with people and even the ‘Pub Quiz’ social gatherings online.

On the other side of the coin then, it could be easy to assume that for those people that are reserved that they could be quite comfortable with social isolation. Indeed this is possibly the case particularly if they are cocooned alone in their own space and especially for those who are more focused on tasks as they could be using the quiet time to get through their to-do list now that there are minimal introductions.  But then again if they are at home with their loved ones and not able to find a quiet space then they are going to find this period more challenging.

Now take into account that as human beings we are also governed by base instincts that are part of our subconscious. The need to be safe, to be loved and to be in control of our environments (or lives). The desire to feel safe is the most primary of these instincts and so there is little wonder that there is so much fear around right now. This is then compounded by the perceived lack of control of our own lives with the restrictions on leaving our own homes. It is important however to remember that even now there are things that ARE within our control.

Image showing circles of things that people can control during COVID-19

The instinct within us to be loved also influences how we feel given we aren’t seeing our colleagues and we can’t go friends and family outside of our own household. Hence the increase in the use of online technology and telephone conversations, which whilst not perfect does allow that connection to those not cocooned with us our homes.

So what is the solution to making the coming weeks easier and do the best to maintain your physical and mental well-being?

My suggestion, which may seem a little simplistic, is to work out what that looks like for you personally.

Begin to ask yourself, what are the things that you are finding most difficult right now?

Then consider what alternatives you can come up with to do things differently until the restrictions are limited. If you are at home with other members of your family then it is also important to communicate with them about what their needs are and work out how best to accommodate what they want into a daily routine.

Perhaps more important right now is to be kind to yourself.

You are not alone in finding things difficult and you can only do the best you can under the circumstances. Some days will feel easier than others and that’s ok, but most importantly if you are feeling overwhelmed or that you can’t shake the negative thinking then reach out and ask someone around you for help.

During April I am offering free coaching sessions to help those who are struggling so if you are not sure who to turn to for support please just pick up the phone and call me on 0114 2219054 or drop me an email and I will do the rest.