Our healthcare workers are true heroes. The doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responders in our country know how to rally together to diagnose, treat and care for those impacted by this virus. The people in our country that pursue these careers do so to care for others and their dedication to doing what is necessary to win this battle is something to admire and support.
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 Anne Corley Baum.
Anne Baum is the Lehigh Valley Executive and Vice President for Capital BlueCross and the author of the Small Mistakes, Big Consequences: Develop Your Soft Skills to Help You Succeed and the upcoming Small Mistakes Big Consequences for Interviews. She also designed and led leadership development programs through her own company Vision Accomplished, that focuses on leadership development. Anne is passionate about sharing useful and easy to apply techniques to help people succeed.
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?
From a very young age, I was always interested in and intrigued by the healthcare industry. As I learned more about career opportunities in this space, I fell in love with the business side of the industry, and as I advanced in my career, I found a special interest and passion for business behavior and leadership skills that drive success.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Two books really changed my perspective on leadership and entrepreneurism. The first book that changed my view of career and business was Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. His storytelling changed my understanding of creating a job vs. creating a business. His wisdom has inspired me ever since I first read it.
The second book that inspires me is Jim Collins book, Good to Great. The very first sentence, “Good is the Enemy of Great” sets the stage for the concepts presented in his book. This simple sentence is amazingly powerful and I rely on it to inspire me to focus on the little things I can do to make my work, home, and life better.
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) Americans are strong and resilient — Despite the fear that this virus is creating, our communities and country are not sitting back and letting it win. We are fighting it — through innovation, research, social distancing, and supporting those that have been negatively impacted by the shut down of the virus. At the heart of our country, we care for one another and this virus will be defeated by our fighting spirit.
(2) Our economy was strong going into this battle. Though we don’t know where we will land on the other side of this pandemic, our economy and our communities were in a position that is allowing us to infuse life and business sustaining dollars into our economy to help us weather this storm. During this challenging time, I’ve seen amazing examples of the business community stepping up to provide emergency funding and resources for the not for profit community. I’ve seen individual members of the community step up to fund initiatives to support small, main street businesses. It is inspiring and shows how we truly care about one another when times are tough.
(3) We have amazing scientists at work to find solutions to battle this virus. Researchers are racing to the finish line to develop a vaccine, advanced tests and drugs to help us prevent and treat this virus. The talent that is focused on this solution is inspiring and provides hope for us all.
(4) Our healthcare workers are true heroes. The doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responders in our country know how to rally together to diagnose, treat and care for those impacted by this virus. The people in our country that pursue these careers do so to care for others and their dedication to doing what is necessary to win this battle is something to admire and support.
(5) We are learning how to appreciate our lives.While families are quarantined together, I hear regularly how they are slowing down and focusing on things that they haven’t focused on in the past due to their busy schedules. From cooking together and playing games as a family, to videoconferencing with siblings across the country, people are reconnecting with their families, their community and nature. That, in and of itself, inspires hope and optimism.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- Check in with your friends, family and neighbors regularly. Ask how they are doing and let them know you are there to listen or chat.
- Send cards, little gifts or plants for a fun surprise to those quarantined at home. It’s amazing what a little unexpected gift or card can do to lift a person’s spirits.
- Drop off supplies, or offer to shop for those who are unable to do so. I recently heard a story about a neighborhood that places items in need on a table for neighbors to pick up in a safe, healthy manner.
- Gather via phone or video conference and have people come prepared with topics that are not COVID-19 related. For example, have people recommend a book, movie, game, Netflix series or even a joke.
- If you sense a person needs professional help, connect them with virtual health services, employee assistance programs or other local resources
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
- Relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga are a great way to manage your stress
- There are many apps available with relaxing music or calming meditation, e.g., the Calm app
- Use candles or infusers with calming scents to create a relaxing environment in your home or office
- Spend time outdoors walking, running or biking. Try an online exercise class through your gym or other online services — this will help relieve your stress and refocus your attention
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Don’t let fear of what might happen keep you from trying”
So often, the fear of “what if” keeps individuals from taking risks. And, subsequently, they miss out on an opportunity. The power of assumption can be overwhelming and the more we push ourselves to take a risk, overcome fear and try, the more we will realize all that we can accomplish!
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. 🙂
The movement I would start would be one that would encourage people to focus on getting to know one another for who we really are as individuals vs. who we assume someone to be based upon the labels that we assign to them. When we rely upon labels, we let assumptions influence us and we judge others unfairly. Moving from judgment based upon assumptions to giving people a chance to show us who they really are would result in a better understanding of how much we have in common instead of focusing on our differences. I believe that, ultimately, this would bring us closer together.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!