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Using ‘air time’ to manage uncertainty

We’re coming to realise just how long this uncertainty is going to last. How do we help our people live with uncertainty for the long term? How do we create an area of safety for the people we support and care about?

Some are predicting how the future is going to pan out – but can they? Some of the shifting is going to be profound and, therefore, deeply unpredictable.

One powerful technique is to consciously manage how you use ‘air time’. If we talk more about what we don’t know, what we can’t control, what we’re worried about, then we’re creating anxiety.

But what can we know, when everything’s in flux? It’s simple, but we forget. The things that matter most to your people’s wellbeing are actually things that you do know – because they meet their emotional and human needs, and those don’t change.

You can’t provide certainty, but you can build safety by recognising people’s emotional needs. ‘I need you’; ‘I value you’; ‘you’re good at your job and here’s why’; ‘we’re in this together’; ‘we’ll support each other’, and reinforce your sense of shared purpose.

Spend more of your air time talking about what you do know, rather than about what you don’t, and you’ll build a place of greater safety.

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