Today was the second webinar in Wirecard Solutions South Africa’s three-part series, ‘Reset, Restore, Renew’ aimed at helping business owners and entrepreneurs navigate towards ‘the new normal’ in a post-Covid19 world.
The ‘Restore’ webinar was led by professional mediator and counsellor, Elzabè Opperman, MD of The Talking Point, an integrated, dialogue-based business support practice and solution provider.
The concept that framed Elzabè’s talk was interconnectedness – from the biopsychosocial model of human existence, whereby our mental, physical and spiritual health should be understood as being inextricably interlinked, to the interdependent nature of our lives as members of families, businesses, organisations, and communities.
Early in Elzabè’s talk, she referred to Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician recognised across the world for his compassionate approach to health and healing. The webinar included a video of Dr. Gabor Maté, in which he makes the point that if we want to heal our bodies, we can’t separate our minds from the process. For Dr. Maté, the interdependent nature of being human is the starting point for good health.
In moving into the main part of her webinar, Elzabè used this context, of interconnectedness, to make a series of key points:
Come together, not in competition but in collaboration
Elzabè shared her personal approach to business, which emphasizes a focus on shared value; of what can be achieved, not when individuals or companies compete with one another, but when they choose instead, to collaborate.
The point Elzabè was making is that there is more to be gained when people come together. Referring to the current lockdown situation, she said that crisis makes us focus on what’s really going on. In an analysis of cases her company has managed since the start of lockdown, she said the data reveals an alarming spike in domestic violence and abuse against women and children. The need, Elzabè said, is to look at the root cause of this violence, which has been made more pronounced due to lockdown. The need to heal our society, starting with individuals and with families is clear.
Reach for courage, not fear
Elzabè referred to the widespread use of social media as a go-to for news about the pandemic. Also, to the effects exposure to this kind news has on the psyche. The sense of being overshadowed by the threat of death is a pervasive experience for people. She went on to say that, “when fears run high, the need for courage runs higher.”
Elzabè called on people to be courageous. One of the ways she recommended we do this, is to make phone calls to individuals who may be suffering in isolation. She used the example of her children – who rely on text messaging – to make video calls instead. For Elzabè, courage is about connection.
Resilience training starts now
It’s clear from the work Elzabè does as a family law mediator that resilience is a life skill she believes should be taught to children at a young age. In a second video Elzabè shared, a teacher gives a fun, interactive lesson about resilience to a group of small children. The point is, no one is too small to start learning what it means to be resilient. Elzabè shared a story of a disadvantaged youngster she is working with, currently, and the example he sets in his daily practice in responding to classmates with empathy, and connection. The tools this youngster is practicing now, Elzabè said, will propel him towards a brighter, better future.
Ready, steady, breathe
Elzabè referred to the CEO of the Marriot Group, Arne Morris Sorenson’s speech to his staff in which he said that the current crisis won’t last forever, and that together they could, and would, overcome it.
Elzabè’s final words addressed overcoming crisis by giving access to, and making available, support. She advised participants to take a deep breath; to breathe in faith and hope. And to reach out and make support available to family members, colleagues, staff members and community members.
True to her company’s philosophy to ‘keep talking’, Elzabè ended her webinar by offering The Talking Point’s counselling services, free to anyone needing support during lockdown. The Talking Point’s network of qualified, professional counsellors is available from 7am-9pm, Monday to Saturday to assist, at no cost.
If you missed Elzabe webinar, please watch it here
If you would like to join Wirecard Solutions South Africa’s final ‘Renew’ webinar, featuring master facilitator, Peter Thomas, please book here