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Categories: Career, COVID-19, Leadership

Finding Silver Linings While Sheltering in Place

“I am the best I’ve ever been.” A client said that to me in a recent coaching conversation, and I immediately asked how that could be possible. He is a high-level leader at a global organization. How could he be the best he’s ever been in the midst of a pandemic? Although he admitted that sheltering in place had some serious downsides, he said he has been finding silver linings. These small victories have made him feel good about who he is as a person and as a leader during this challenging time.

Without a daily commute, there was now time for coffee and breakfast with his family. Without racing from meeting to meeting in the office, he found that he was actually able to be on time to each of his daily commitments. He had more time and bandwidth to express empathy and caring to his co-workers.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that we should all be happy and grateful for the pandemic. This is a terribly challenging time marked by sickness, sacrifice and economic hardship.

At the same time, I am suggesting that for some of us, there may be a silver lining or two. There may be new habits, practices and ways of being that we are adopting that we will want to carry over into our life after COVID-19. Once we return to our offices, to travel and to face-to-face interactions, what do you want to keep?

For example, another client told me last week that he was grateful for the extra time he had each day with his young child. He said, “This is time I would never have had at home with him if we were not sheltered in place.”

Perhaps like this client you have rediscovered how much you enjoy being with your kids and are really valuing that time. Or, perhaps you are loving your new meditation practice. Maybe you realize how productive you can be working from home and want to continue that practice a couple of days each week. Maybe you have reinvigorated an exercise program or a long-lost hobby that you’d like to continue.

Whatever good you are experiencing during this challenging time, notice it. It will give you insight into what you want to take forward when our sheltering in place has ended.

To read more of Debby’s thoughts on leadership, please visit

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