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Maiden Manzanal-Frank: “Crisis bring out the best in human empathy”

Crisis bring out the best in human empathy. Despite social distancing, we can create and control our emotional responses to external stimuli by reducing our dependence on ourselves and increasing our interdependence with each other, with our neighbors, communities, networks, and organizations. We become part of the solution so that not one of us can […]


Crisis bring out the best in human empathy. Despite social distancing, we can create and control our emotional responses to external stimuli by reducing our dependence on ourselves and increasing our interdependence with each other, with our neighbors, communities, networks, and organizations. We become part of the solution so that not one of us can say, we did it alone and the rest suffers.


As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maiden Manzanal-Frank.

Maiden is an international impact expert who works with governments, organizations, and enterprises in Canada and worldwide. She is an award-winning diversity champion, consultant, writer, lecturer, and speaker. As a trainer and lecturer, she has helped thousands of social enterprise producers gain valuable market access and business development tools to enrich their lives and lift themselves out of poverty. Having travelled in more than 30 countries and worked in 15, she brings the wealth and breadth of her experiences and insights to bear on her advisory roles with leading organizations today.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

There is no specific path. I knew from the very beginning that I am more inclined to work in various settings and fields using my talent and expertise. For me, time is a resource and I am using my time to the best of my talents and opportunities to serve others.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

  1. Crisis not only presents challenges but opportunities. Crisis brings challenges that expands and illustrates that there are more actions we can do to innovate and lead in our respective fields and spheres of influence. The crisis should not hunker us down but should make us stronger, resilient, and able to grow better as persons and organizations. Look to opportunities presented by the crisis situation. It’s not the ‘silver lining.’
  2. Crisis brings us closer together. The world is hampered by massive amount of economic and social dysfunctions as a result of the pandemic. No one nation is immune and inured. We have to create our own new templates of navigating these challenges collectively and together. If the problem is global, we need global solutions and cooperation is the only way through the haze of unbridled selfish opportunism and parochialism we see today.
  3. Crisis brings enormous amount of innovation ideas. Talking about opportunities, the race to affordable, accessible, and effective vaccine is one: this would be the straw that will break the camel’s back. To this, we seek out new and emergent ways to make our organizations grow from shocks, stresses, and pressures, not protect them from it, because that is the way of the future. Learning to become antifragile is the best antidote to fragility.
  4. Crisis bring out the best in human empathy. Despite social distancing, we can create and control our emotional responses to external stimuli by reducing our dependence on ourselves and increasing our interdependence with each other, with our neighbors, communities, networks, and organizations. We become part of the solution so that not one of us can say, we did it alone and the rest suffers.
  5. This too shall pass! Keeping cheery and in good positive disposition helps reduced the anxiety caused by uncertainty and volatility of the times. Planning is out of the window. Framing is the new way. Constantly reframing and regulating our individual lives is very important to keep us balanced and well-motivated.

What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?

Play is a high-order method to reduce stress and anxiety. Going outdoors if possible is a way to detox and detach from routines that have become prisons instead of comforts.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

This too shall pass!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am already sowing the seeds of that movement. Building the competency and excellence of organizations to achieve their impacts.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Through my website at www.globalstakesconsulting.com

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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