Leading from home has undergone a radical transformation. It shifted from a nice-to-have to a must-have, and everything has changed.

Enter the pandemic, and we know that women with children are struggling. According to Harvard Business Review, a whopping one in four women are considering downsizing their careers because of the strains remote work is putting on them.

Geraldine Ree-experienced SVP, mentor, facilitator, and speaker

Guest post by Geraldine Ree. Bio and website below.

Sadly, they are not alone.

Have you ever felt like an outsider looking in on your own organization? If you’re a minority in any sense of the word (such as gender, race, religion, age, education, sexual orientation, kids, or no kids), the voice inside your head at some point says, “No one sees the world the way I see it. My opinion doesn’t belong here.” If the voice persists and gets loud enough, it eventually evolves to say, “I don’t belong here.”

The minority effect occurs when voices are silenced for no reason other than feeling outnumbered. In a virtual world, cameras create new minorities: “My apartment isn’t big enough,” “My eyesight isn’t good enough,” “My kids aren’t quiet enough,” and so on.

The impact of isolation – also referred to as the “silent pandemic” – is profound. The World Health Organization states that isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Solving communication is critical to combating both physical and mental isolation. Leaders need to find a way in to level the playing field of perspectives and opinions.

There are a few simple things leaders can do to improve each person’s sense of belonging:

  1. Be consistent. Commit to regular check-ins beyond the weekly or biweekly one-on-one meeting. We cannot solve isolation by throwing a meeting at it.
  2. Find the right way in. Each one of us has a preferred communication method, time, and place for those casual back-and-forth connections. Whether it’s by text, Slack, Messenger, WhatsApp, or Zoom, do what works best for the other person.The goal of find