Unmasking Fear: Preparing for COVID-19’s Impact on the Philippine Business Setting
Prepare for COVID-19’s Impact on Philippine Businesses. Learn how to get through the Luzon lockdown productively.
The Philippine business landscape has been put on a screeching halt temporarily in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. While the government has been clear about its intentions to maintain the supply of the public’s demand for essential needs, the evidence of fear is everywhere – from mainstream news channels, social media feeds, and email exchanges. From the cancellation of popular events, the country’s stock market decline to panic buying even in developed economies, the bombardment about what’s going on is non-stop.
2020 has been a challenging year for Philippine businesses; from the recent Taal Volcano eruption that cost the country P6.7B in forgone income and now, the impact of the lockdown on micro, small and medium enterprises is very real and could deal a major blow on our country’s $330 billion economy.
However, as a business professional, you have to control the thoughts that linger in your mind in the days to come. Indeed there is a crisis and we are not the only country experiencing this. But it’s important for you to look beyond the fear to start seeing the other side. When this crisis finally subsides (And it will!) like all the other crises that have befallen this country throughout history, we have to start preparing for the “new normal” in our business dealings. This is where you should start. What will the world look like after the lockdown is lifted? How will things be as we go back to work and try to regain our momentum amid all the chaos?
Below are the steps that you can take to jumpstart your thought recovery:
1. Guard Your Thoughts
If you constantly feed on the fear and negativity that proliferate in your phone, laptop, or TV, then you are in a very dangerous loop that will eat you up inside and can paralyze you if left unchecked. Of course, it’s important to be informed and updated, but limit your exposure to the news; once or twice a day is more than enough. The key is not to focus too much on them.
There are other more productive ways to use your time during Luzon’s lockdown. Read a book, exercise, call friends and family – anything that can take your mind away from diving into fear.
2. Recognize the Emotions your Thoughts bring
Millions of people do not realize the negative thought patterns that are formed when entertaining such thoughts: fear, worry, anger, doubt. These emotions can take over and put your entire system on auto pilot where all your decisions will be based on fear. However, human beings in a fearful state go into “survival mode” where preservation reigns over creativity. This is not the state you want to be in. To be a successful professional (whether you are a supervisor, manager, leader, sales professional, administrative assistant, etc.) you need to be in “creation mode” where your brain is free to churn out new ideas that can help your company achieve or even surpass its targets.
When you think about the economy going down, companies closing down or losing your job, then very soon, your thought process will be hijacked by fear. On the other hand, if you focus your thoughts on what can and should be done to mitigate the risks brought about by the series of global events in Q1 of 2020 and possibly up to Q2, then fear can be overcome by focusing on the set of wonderful opportunities available in the middle of every crisis.
You can start now by asking the right questions: What should be done to increase sales after the lockdown? How can you help your people regain and recapture their work momentum when the crisis is over?
For Collectors, how do you encourage your clients to pay the soonest possible time after the crisis? Your company needs to stabilize its cash flow after a long period of standstill from the temporary situation.
3. Acting on your Emotions
Your actions will be directed by the strong emotions you have developed based on the kind of thoughts you have chosen to focus on. Positive energy will flow and propel you towards successful idea creation to support your opportunity-seeking thoughts, while negative emotions will do just the opposite.
To ensure you get the best behavior you want from yourself in these trying times, guard your mind against NEGATIVITIS and start developing your Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). You’d be surprised to find out that you have the capacity to make things happen — one activity at a time. Start by making a list of the things you need to do to get you closer to realizing your goals daily.
In our training sessions, we include Action Plans to help our participants develop the habit of plotting goals, targets, activities, as well as evaluation of the outcome of each initiative. Truly, consistency is the key to getting sustainable results. The conscious effort of guarding your mind against negative thoughts will influence the right emotions and guide your actions towards productivity. This is the Thought-Emotion-Action connection. Be part of the winning side as we move towards rebuilding our future. Let us choose to act on things that will pave the way for better days to come.
If you have decided that you have had enough of this sea of negativity and uncertainty, then it’s time that you do something about it. We know that many business professionals have been taken by surprise with this sudden turn of events first in Metro Manila, then the whole of Luzon, and now the entire Philippines due to COVID-19. Though the nature of the recent events may incite negative feelings, what then? This is the reality now, and improvement will only come with acceptance. It’s time to be agile. Choose to be productive, win and be ahead of the rest.
As the lockdown breaches its first week, it’s more crucial than ever to kick out the negativity and put our game faces on. Let’s fight this war with the “invisible enemy” using our own invisible yet inexhaustible source of power from within. Let’s raise our swords and win this war together to build a stronger and more vibrant Philippine Economy in 2020 and beyond!