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A paralyzing, anxiety-charged experience: waiting for results after a medical test. In the absence of information, people tend to plunge towards bad places. Reliable information, on the other hand, dampens and in many cases eliminates anxiety.

People now are information-starved about their workplaces. They hop on Zoom calls, and exchange texts and emails, but it’s not the same. The situation is creating information vacuums. The lack of information saps morale and heightens anxiety and worry.

I found that especially wise leaders during COVID made a point of routinely keeping people in their organizations up to date about things that matter. Let’s say the business is having a tough time clawing past COVID, even as so many businesses suddenly are thriving as the world reopens. Cash flow is down 30 percent. Things seem dire. Instead of sitting on the information, I believe it makes more sense for leaders to help colleagues understand challenges, and to ask for their help to come up with solutions. 

Chances are everybody already knows that things are not looking good — and they are stewing about it. Rumors hatch out of nowhere and go viral. It’s extremely unhealthy. Being up front with colleagues, even about difficulties, tends to at least dampen some of the anxiety. From there, people desire working together to figure out solutions.

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