#CuriousMoments with Advita
In a recent Curious Rebel newsletter, I covered how to talk about the Israel-Palestine crisis in your organisation.
From the responses I’ve received, it seems it has helped a few folks. So I thought I’d summarise in this curious moment.
I’m not claiming to be an expert. I have Jewish and Palestinian friends tragically impacted by this conflict. The aim of this advice isn’t to tell you what you should say or do but to take into consideration that something awful is happening and innocent civilians have been tragically hurt, including children, from both sides.
This isn’t something I can pretend isn’t happening, and as communication professionals, we have an obligation to ensure we’re giving the best professional support possible so our colleagues and leaders receive open, respectful communication.
1) Acknowledge what’s happening. There’s far more risk in saying nothing. As comms professionals, we can encourage leaders to acknowledge what’s happening in Israel and Gaza. Reinforce your focus on the safety of colleagues and clients who may be directly affected. Help leaders create an inclusive, safe environment that values the the diversity of opinion and respectful dialogue.
2) Be mindful of political sensitivities. This is not the time to share an interpretation of the situation without understanding the complexities of this 75-year conflict. Steer clear of sharing opinions and biases and instead focus on people caught in this crossfire and what you’re doing to support them. Use empathetic language when communicating, and if required, reiterate your values and employee conduct policies regarding politics and anti-harassment.
3) Empower conversations. Consider using comms channels, such as virtual meetings, where colleagues can ask questions and explore their thoughts in a safe space. When you mix fear, guilt and shame, it’s likely to lead to disruption and fraught relationships, so providing spaces for people will be useful.
4) Offer support. Now is the time to share your employee assistance programme if you have one, speak to your mental health advocates and share any counselling you can offer in your organisation. Encourage your leaders to ask people what support they need right now and remind them that some colleagues may not be focused on work so they may require additional flexibility.
Remember, as communication or HR professionals, we can’t always avoid the news. So please ensure you look after yourself properly. Take frequent breaks, and switch off from socials when you can. I know it’s an absolute privilege to turn things off, but you can’t help anyone if you don’t care for yourself properly.
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Originally posted on LinkedIn, Follow me for more curious moments.