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I am on day 74 of working from home since COVID-19 landed here in Seattle – not that I am counting. I am an extrovert who always wants to be around people. That wish has been granted given that I am now working from home with my adult daughters (one home from college, the other waiting for her job to resume), and a three-month-old puppy.
It might be the understatement of the year, but we are in interesting times.
Sheltering in place looks different for everyone. You could be living alone, sharing a workspace with a partner or roommate, caring for little humans (and little pets), or nurturing aging family members.
Regardless, you have undoubtedly become familiar with hunkering down. Going to the store remains an event, and services we once took for granted are no longer an option. Social interactions continue to be limited and take commitment and effort if we want to be connected beyond those quarantined with us.
By now, you’ve probably caught up on all of the Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime series. And you probably fall on one side of the spectrum – either on track for gaining the COVID-19lbs (thanks to banana bread and sourdough starter) or exercising way more than normal.
Given the circumstances, we are all feeling forms of uncertainty, anxiety, boredom, and restlessness. And if you are like me, you often feel guilty that you are not using every minute at home in the best way possible. My emotions ebb and flow, to be sure. Can you relate?
Social distancing is a bit of a misnomer because, at its core, it is actually physical distancing; we just call it social. The goal of these stay-at-home orders is to reduce the number of people who come into close, physical contact with each other.
Fundamentally, this is counter to our core needs as humans. We are social creatures. We want to connect at a deep level. We want to have strong relationships with the people in our lives.
So our challenge in this time is to be physically apart (“social distance”) and not emotionally apart (“emotional distance”).
Luckily, all of us have access to a tool that helps dissolve emotional distance: CONVERSATIONS. Thankfully, we can navigate uncertainty and loneliness by reaching out and having the conversations we most need to have.
But are we using the tool as we should?
Instead of embracing our ability to connect, many are avoiding conversations with people in their lives and finding it is easier to pretend everything is fine as we can hide in our homes and choose to not answer specific pings or calls - maybe even right inside your own home!
As we at Fierce have witnessed this happening for more and more of us, we have also found our Fierce tools to be incredibly relevant and necessary - even and especially in our homes during this time. We realized that we could share tips and tricks on how we, employees and leaders at Fierce, are using Fierce Conversations to get through this time ourselves. Why not get real and share the good, the bad, and the ugly about our different living situations?
And so, our free mini-course, Fierce Conversations for Social Distancing, was born.
The mini-course consists of three parts. The first is by Susan Scott, our Founder and CEO, who is currently living alone with her three dogs. She talks about the most important conversation during these times – the one with yourself.
The second part is mine – not so much as SVP of Learning here at Fierce, but as a mom. I talk about how I’m trying to navigate my role as a parent in new ways. And Luis Gonzales, a Master Facilitator at Fierce, rounds us out as he shares his own unique challenges of working from home with elderly family members who need care, even hard conversations he’s having to have about medical treatment and intervention.
Through these short videos, we equip you with simple, specific, and practical takeaways that can immediately be applied in your life. to help you become more clear, engaged, and connected with those in your life. That’s what we want for you. Especially now.
No more (or at least a little less) self-doubt, tension in the household, misunderstanding, and avoided conversations. More (lots more) self-love, appreciation, and connection.
Social distancing together is not easy, but you are not alone. Join us on this journey to #shortenthedistance by having the conversations that are most important in your life — and start right now by taking our #fiercechallenge!
Share how you’re working on shortening the distance with your loved ones on your social media channels. And don’t forget to use the hashtags #fiercechallenge and #shortenthedistance so we can share your message and continue bettering the world one conversation at a time.