Hi Team,

Today I will present part 2 of my key learning from the recent Future of Leadership 2020 seminar. The second keynote address that struck me as particularly relevant and insightful was called "PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF THE PANDEMIC” presented by James Dion, an American corporate psychologist. In his speech James presented a summary of his insights into how the pandemic is affecting the thinking and state of mind of a cross section of the American population, which I believe is also applicable in Australia, although possibly to a lesser degree.

James Dion outlined the main psychological impacts of the pandemic as follows,

  • The majority of people are still struggling to rationalize and come to terms with the reality of the pandemic and its ongoing short term and long-term impacts to their lives.
  • There is a sense of fear and interpretation about the future. "The world is at present very scary."
  • "Connection and belonging" have been replaced by "safety and security" as the most important values for the majority of people.
  • This change in values is causing a lot of personal conflict because in order to stay safe they are having to sacrifice connections and relationships. Living locked down lives where safety is the number one priority, means very little interaction with relatives and loved ones which can results in a feeling of guilt and abandonment. (I am personally feeling this daily as I have not been able to visit my 84-year-old mother in her nursing home since February)
  • Most people’s daily routine has been turned upside down. This can be very negative, especially for people that are already struggling with stress or anxiety. It is widely recognised that a simple and consistent daily routine is one of the greatest aids to mental health. 
  • There is a universal sense that fun and spontaneity has been largely lost from daily life and may not return for another 6 to 12 months. 
  • The most important mind sets to help cope with these psychological pressures are “this too will pass," and "we are all in this together".
  • The most important word during this pandemic is "empathy".

"Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug." Lawrence J.

PS; another personal favour. I love receiving your feedback and comments, so if you have any thoughts or constructive criticism about my Weekly Emails or you have any specific topics you would like me to research and write about, please email me directly on

Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and empathetic.

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