While many things have been heartbreaking or difficult in these times, there have been others that have helped alleviate some of our angst. I find myself moved to tears over things I’m not sure would have really registered in easier times. I suppose the pain we’re exposed to, with so many people suffering in terms of health and/or the economy, makes it a good time to be grateful.

An item I was touched by this week was on the topic of doing more than just asking people how they’re doing. Here are just a few questions that Elizabeth Weingarten recommended to help you make a stronger connection with your people:

• How are you taking care of yourself today?
• What part of your shelter-in-place residence have you come to appreciate the most?
• What surprising thing have you been stocking up on (that isn’t toilet paper)?
• What’s a story – from a book, a movie, an article, a conversation – that you’ve been gripped by recently? Why did it capture you?
• What habit have you started, or broken, during the quarantine?
• Which specific place in your neighborhood are you most looking forward to visiting once this is all over?
• What’s the easiest part about the quarantine?
• What are some things you have realized that you don’t really need?
• What’s something you own that feels useful?
• What problem — either yours, or something more global — do you wish you could solve?

What I love about this is the way it assists people who want to express their caring and connection with their teams, but simply don’t know how or have the words to do so.

Many leaders I’m in touch with on a regular basis want to be present for their teams more than ever. They are well aware of the stress people are facing with homeschooling children, staying at home in general, and dealing with changing conditions on a day by day basis.

Many of us might have thought that by now things would be coming back to normal and are coming to terms with the fact that we have no clear end in sight. Consider how you might use these questions to connect with other leaders, people in your community, or your team members. After all, our saving grace in these times is simply our relationship to one another.

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