Christmas Clarity

Yesterday I watched a webinar titled, Taking Care of Your Staff (and Yourself) During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  It was excellent and I wish I could just copy all of what April Roy, Director of the Plaza branch of Kansas City Public Library, said and share it with you.  Instead of stealing all of her work I am going to share what the webinar had listed as “some of what you will learn.”

  • Effective techniques for communicating with staff when plans are constantly changing
  • Why you NEED to set aside time for self-care
  • The importance of leaning on one another for emotional and mental support
  • How to give “pep talks” that really make a difference – and what to avoid saying
  • How to restore and nurture a positive work environment in the face of daily challenges
  • Setting realistic expectations for our ourselves and those around us

I share this list because it can be applied to all of us.  Take out the words “with staff” and “work” and, yep, it is for everyone.  I signed up for this webinar because of the obvious, COVID and concern for my staff, and also recognizing the added stress of the Holidays.  2020 has been trying and, as much as I wish it could, January 1st, 2021 will not be a return to “normal”. 

I want to share the stand out moments of Roy’s webinar.  “Your self-worth is not based on your productivity.”  Dang, that one hit hard.  I love marking things off my list.  Well, my list is just not what it used to be.  Things I usually have done by this time of the year; I have had to just let go.  It has been painful and is something I must talk myself through on a daily basis.  Take it easy, as in don’t push too hard right now.  I remember when I was sick in 2018 we called it maintaining the course, but it was really just a staying afloat moment.  Speak with clarity, one attendee asked how to let her manager know that she was starting to feel overwhelmed, Roy answered with, “tell them that you are feeling overwhelmed.”  Yep, that simple.  Brene Brown shares some wonderful information on clarity.    “We avoid clarity because we tell ourselves we’re being kind; when what we’re actually doing is being unkind and unfair.” In Dare to Lead, Brown makes these four points: 

  • Feeding people half-truths or bulls**t to make them feel better (which is almost always about making ourselves feel more comfortable) is unkind.
  • Not getting clear with a colleague about expectations because it feels too hard, yet holding them accountable or blaming them for not delivering, is unkind.
  • Talking about people rather than to them is unkind.
  • It’s easier than a tough conversation to say “Got it, on it” and run.

So, I am going to end this bookworm with some clarity.  People are struggling, me included.  Most of us are probably sad about the upcoming holidays. I miss seeing my parents weekly and I am pretty sad that we will not be spending Christmas together, but at least I still have them.  A lot of folks have lost their people this year and their Christmas will never be the same again. I am tired of all the arguing about masks, just wear them if you are asked to, if you don’t want to, then don’t go to the places that require them.  We are around people daily that are scared and people that have lost someone, respect that.

So much for the original title of this bookworm, Christmas Cheer.   Oh well, hopefully those people that I might have been talking about hear me clearly.   Upcoming Events: 12/21 Adult Crafts on Facebook, 12/23 Story Time in the Community room (masks required for adults) at 10am, 12/24 We close at 1pm, 12/25 We are closed