Throughout this past year, the events industry has been adapting to relentless uncertainty and shifting landscapes, and it is safe to say as we enter the beginning of 2021 there is still an element of uncertainty.
The impact this has had on our mental health has been extremely visible, many people suffering with worries and concerns over job losses, financial stresses, not to mention the stress on our relationships. We have had to adapt to new ways of working such as working from home which from a single person’s perspective can be very lonely and isolating.
But as an Events Industry, how do we take on this major crisis and turn it into a positive?
Getting through Covid-19 has meant rethinking resilience. As someone who is a very passionate advocate for wellbeing, I am working very hard to ensure that our industry provides the right tools and resources, not just for individuals but for business leaders to develop a company culture and environment to ease individuals back to work in a more mindful way.
Looking after your employees is not just about ‘pinging’ them an email with information on how to look after themselves. There are still individuals and leaders out there that roll their eyes at wellbeing resources and take the stance of individual resilience, meaning that they push the responsibility onto individuals to learn and adapt rather than to address it collectively as a team.
I have heard the term ‘we are all in the same boat,’ a lot this past year, but actually we are not. We all have our individual reasons for having a hard time. And what we need to do now is to be kind to ourselves as we find new ways to move forward. This is compassionate resilience.
Compassion should be your first priority. Compassion for ourselves and compassion for others. Compassion means noticing and attending to suffering with the desire to alleviate it.
Great innovation springs from compassion. True resilience begins with compassion. Our ability to keep going, to take care of ourselves and others, to think and respond in new ways all begins with self-compassion.
I want to share the following quote with you from a book called Rising Strong by Brene Brown;
“The most transformative and resilient leaders have three things in common:
First, they recognize the central role that relationships and story play in culture and strategy, and they stay curious about their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviours.
Second, they understand and stay curious about how emotions, thoughts, and behaviours are connected in the people they lead, and how those factors affect relationships and perception.
And, third, they have the ability and willingness to lean into discomfort and vulnerability.”
Basically what this quote tells us is that the very best leaders stand out because they care. They care deeply for others, and they are resilient because they also care for themselves. They respond to challenges not through grim determination, but through determined kindness and more importantly they are willing to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations.
There is still stigma and shame associated with mental health and reaching out for help. Although some companies have the systems in place to offer vital support, we can only impact this collectively as an industry by changing the culture within our organisations and making our teams and people feel supported and safe to reach for help when it is needed.
As a Mental Health First Aider myself, I would like to see more Event industry leaders invest in Mental Health First Aid training, (as well as other wellbeing practices), so that there is always someone within the company that anyone can turn to when they feel overwhelmed or struggling for whatever reason. No longer should people feel shame in feeling this way. Putting the mental health and wellbeing of all employees at the forefront of any business will undoubtedly allow the business to grow and thrive in a more positive way and that is how to create a more compassionate, mindful and resilient culture throughout our industry in 2021 and beyond.