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Anthony J. Algmin is the founder and CEO of Algmin Data Managementa company that helps business and technology leaders transform their future with data, and author of a new data leadership book. We asked for his thoughts on how strong leaders can see their teams, companies, and people through this global pandemic (and other crises in the future). Here are his own words:

Managers sometimes forget that the people we lead live outside the office. This is always true but is amplified when a crisis occurs. We must remember that our job is to serve their teams, to help them be as aligned and productive as possible in the short and long term.

Crises are exactly when we need to think about what they might be going through and realize that the partnership we have with our employees is more than a transaction. If we’ve ever asked our employees to make sacrifices, like working a weekend without extra pay, we should first think about how we can help them through the tough times. When we do good to people when they really need it, they will walk through the walls of our organizations again when things return to normal.

Let them know it’s okay to breathe and talk about it. In a situation like COVID-19 where everything has been disrupted and people are adjusting to things like working from home, that’s understandably going to be difficult and frustrating.

The best advice is to encourage people to turn off the television and stop checking news websites frequently. As fast as the news comes, it won’t make any difference in what we can control ourselves. Right now, most of us know what our day will look like, and nothing that comes out in the news will materially change it. If we avoid noisy entrances, we’ll be much better able to concentrate and keep our brains from spinning on things we can’t control.

And that might be the only time I would advocate more meetings. If you don’t have at least one daily standup with your team, you should. And encourage everyone to have a video setup if possible. We might not be able to be in the same room, but the sense of engagement with video is far greater than audio-only calls.

We also risk falling into the spiral if we think too much about the difficulties of our businesses or if our teams cannot achieve what our organizations need to succeed. It’s like the difference in sport between practice and the big game. Normal times are when leaders plan, strategize and work on our fundamentals. Crises are a time to focus and leave it all on the pitch.

That said, be sure to observe and note what works well and where you struggle. If you had data quality issues or inefficient processes before the crisis, you’re not fixing them now. Remove the tape and find a way through. But later, when the crisis subsides, learn from the experience and improve for next time.

Find a hobby. Anything you can do to clear your head and separate work from other considerations in your life. We may feel like the weight of the world is resting on our shoulders, and without a let-up, we won’t be able to sustain that level of stress and remain as productive as our teams, businesses, and families. need us.