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I don’t usually make the podcast the first or main point in the newsletter, but Jen Goldman-Wetzler’s work is timely for our present, strikingly unusual circumstances. She’s an expert on conflict and organizational psychology and I think you will be especially benefited by tuning in.

Anxiety about illness, employment and financial hardship or uncertainty, and elevated stress from sheltering-in-place with people we mostly love, but are now with practically 24/7; well, not too surprisingly it’s taking a toll. Even in our closest relationships, there are areas of disagreement and conflict. Under normal circumstances we may be able to find a workaround but right now it’s harder to work around those frictions. Goldman-Wetzler has answers.

All of us, she says, have conflict habits that interact with the conflict habits of those around us. Perhaps we’re inclined to avoid confrontation, to blame, or to shame—others or ourselves. We might be “relentless collaborators” who keep pushing people, even when they don’t want to cooperate with us. Understanding our patterns is the first step to modifying them, or developing new, more constructive interactions. Goldman-Wetzler offers an assessment on her website to help.

Tune into the podcast for more ideas, and follow up with her book, Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home and in Life. I also discussed the high-level takeaways on LinkedIn Live earlier this week which you can tune in to every Tuesday and Thursday at 9am Eastern.

Additionally, I want to share sources of encouragement or inspiration I’ve recently encountered. We all need antidotes to the constant stream of disturbing news, and I hope one or more of these will meet that need for you.

  • Columbia University offers tips on dealing with COVID-19 anxiety.
  • Ben and Divya Silbermann helping collect data to help move the needle on COVID-19. They’ve provided an app where anyone in the U.S. can self-report their symptoms and the data will be securely shared with respected and responsible research institutions. The Silbermanns are donating meals through Feeding America—one for each new person who downloads the app and reports how they feel. Use it yourself and share it with family and friends.
  • I’m always inspired by this TED talk from my mentor, the late, great Clay Christensen.
  • The little people are feeling stress too. Kudos to Sarah Jane Wright for providing this marvelous resource for children, Raising Wonder.
  • In the Judeo-Christian world this is a Holy Week, Passover and Easter. Good Friday is a traditional day of fasting. You could join the Facebook group started by a 20-year old Californian, or another effort to organize our collective goodwill faith efforts.
  • You can’t go wrong with Clelia Peters contributions via Poetry Month. The link will help you sign up to enjoy great poems like this:

Perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves….perhaps the earth can teach us as when everything seems dead and later proves alive….

So beautiful.

Finally, some of you may have more than anxiety, stressed kids, and uncertainty about jobs and finances to cope with. I know it’s possible that some of you have been personally touched by COVID-19 in more frightening or even tragic ways. On behalf of my team, I want to extend our heartfelt concern and condolences. We are with you in spirit and wishing you light at the end of the tunnel.

My best to you,
Whitney

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