Empathy in the Age of Covid

To say this year has been difficult is such an under-statement, it’s like saying rock ’n’ roll will not be the same without Eddie Van Halen, and, historically, the New York Yankees are the best team in the American League. (Ouch! I know I will get comments about that!)

Everything has been upside down in 2020, everything from professional sports and schools to supply chains to home furnishings markets and consumer buying. 

Between the spread of the novel coronavirus, stay-at-home orders, economic disruptions, the mask vs. the nonmask debate, racial and political strife, and a contentious presidential campaign, this year will leave historians perplexed for centuries to come. Frankly, I hope they can make sense of the events of 2020 because I’m struggling with its roots, disruptions and divisions, and consequences (many of which remain uncertain at this point).

Despite the unpredictability of this year, several aspects of life remain steadfast: the need to respect, care for and be kind to others. Three articles in this issue bring these issues to light. “A Call for Compassion” offers six ways to show empathy with your customers. With business sectors struggling with myriad issues, you can’t assume it’s business as usual. Do you contact your customers to simply check on them? Are there financial breaks you can offer? Can you help with inventory issues?

Another article, “Creating a More Equitable Workplace” provides suggestions for transforming and sustaining diversity and inclusion in your company. In 2020, we have witnessed systemic economic, gender and racial injustice, which has galvanized conversations around the world about how to create a more equitable society. The article shares ways to make your company an agent of change. 

A third article discusses ways to appreciate your staff. “Give Thanks” outlines how you can recognize a job well done with regularity and sincerity.

While this holiday season probably will be, well, out of the ordinary, I hope you are able to spend time — and laughter — with your loved ones — whether it’s in person or virtually. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our team to yours.

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