Take time for self-reflection, so you can embrace the present — carving out time for yourself and identifying the items that will bring a smile, helps a great deal, and goes a long way.
We’re all in the same storm, but different boats — we’re navigating this journey together, so leaning in to connect with family, colleagues, and friends to lend support (and, receive support) is important.
Embrace the present — “attitude is gratitude”, find the simple joys in life.
As a part of our series called 5 Things I Learned From The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic I had the pleasure to interview Yanique Woodall, who leads brand communications at The Home Depot.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers like to get an idea of who you are and where you came from. Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I lead brand communications at The Home Depot, so my team contributes to The Home Depot’s growth and innovation efforts by leading the storytelling and digital media strategies in support of social impact initiatives, marketing, merchandising product innovation and technology goals.
What has been the biggest adjustment while working from home from your in-person workplace? Can you please share a story or example?
The biggest adjustment while working from home versus my in-person workplace experience is both my professional and personal lives have blended in one physical location. Now, meetings can be met with a brief cameo of our family pet or a child’s smile in the background of our video calls. The blending of both worlds has provided a platform for the team and I to grow stronger relationships and lean into those personal moments, which adds value to our team culture. We’re navigating this new journey together.
What do you miss most about your preCOVID lifestyle?
A walk to the cafeteria or elevator ride to my floor was guaranteed to be met by a colleague that I could strike an impromptu discussion, personally or professionally. Now, those impromptu moments have turned into more intentional moments leveraging our technology to ensure we’re staying connected and networking.
The pandemic was a time for collective self-reflection. What social changes would you like to see as a result of the COVID pandemic? What do you think are the unexpected positives of the COVID response?
The pandemic encouraged many of us to push pause on our very busy lives. We went back to the basics and it was enlightening and inspiring. An unexpected phone call to say “hello”, a handwritten note with encouraging words, or taking the time for a virtual lunch to connect with a friend or colleague has become the center of our lives. We have all had time for self-reflection to examine how we can reconnect with others and ourselves in ways that we weren’t before the pandemic. Post pandemic, I would like us to remember to continue to lead our teams with care, purpose, and empathy, reminding them to continue to carve out time for themselves aiming for a healthy balance.
How did you deal with the tedium of being locked up indefinitely during the pandemic? Can you share with us a few things you have done to keep your mood up?
It’s important to remember the benefits of social connection. It helps regulate our emotions and leads to higher self-esteem. I encourage my team and myself to engage in virtual activities, which provide the opportunity to connect with others. It’s been amazing to see how industry associations, as well as family events, have transitioned to virtual intimate chats amongst association members and Zoom family parties/celebrations. These opportunities can help raise spirits while keeping us all connected to each other.
What has been the source of your greatest pain, discomfort, or suffering during this time? How did you cope with it?
The greatest discomfort is we’re continuing to navigate and build for the unknown, and we have had to become comfortable with that reality. However, we’re all in the same storm, but different boats. Continuing to connect with others, be transparent and support each other through the journey helps a great deal.
Ok wonderful. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Learned From The Social Isolation of the COVID19 Pandemic? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Take time for self-reflection, so you can embrace the present — carving out time for yourself and identifying the items that will bring a smile, helps a great deal, and goes a long way.
- We’re all in the same storm, but different boats — we’re navigating this journey together, so leaning in to connect with family, colleagues, and friends to lend support (and, receive support) is important.
- Embrace the present — “attitude is gratitude”, find the simple joys in life.
- Lead with care, empathy, and purpose — create a platform for your team to be transparent and discuss their needs through this journey is critical, as we all have been affected personally and professionally.
- Redefine work-life balance — since our professional and personal lives have blended into one physical location for many of us, it’s important to redefine what balance looks like today. Setting boundaries to ensure you are capturing the best of both worlds will give greater balance daily.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” and share how that was relevant to you during the pandemic?
“Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”- Eleanor Roosevelt. The pandemic has encouraged us all to self-reflect and take the time to embrace the present.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.