When things around us are tense, uncomfortable, and even unconscionable, it is a natural action to react in an effort to fix the problem. Perhaps another consideration to fix a problem or injustice is to respond by hitting the pause button in order to organize our feelings and actions in a manner that best aligns with our desired outcome.
To be clear, pause is not about losing your voice or succumbing to silence. Pause is a temporary stop in order to identify solutions that take hold and stand the test of time. If you spend all your energy reacting, it begs the question, “Will you have enough energy for a long-term solution?” Some may find this being easy to answer, but the first solution isn’t always the best solution.
The recent “BlackOutTuesday” on social media was not about being silent, it was about taking a pause. Perhaps the questions we often apply to our businesses while also serving to help us during the recent unrest with the unfortunate death of George Floyd are, “What am I willing to tolerate/not tolerate? How do I take responsibility for how I show up in my community/world to make it better?" These are important questions that we must ask ourselves. They are not questions that can be answered in a day or even a week. We must take the necessary amount of time to research, reflect, and respond accordingly.
Once you’ve taken the time to understand how you’re going to go about pausing, the next step is to share it with others. This is something that you should make sure your team members are taking part in, and even encouraging your loved ones to do the same as it can make a significant impact. Think about it, one spark starts a flame that can turn into a roaring fire. And when you’re doing it as a community, you can hold each other accountable.
Taking multiple days to pause is vital, and again, this does not mean to stop operations. That would be detrimental to any business, but move more focus on what you and your company can do as a whole to make a change. Take time to have more meetings and conversations with your diversity and inclusion team or similar departments. Be sure to include your marketing and public relations team members in these discussions as they will be in charge of the ‘face’ of the brand. The message of spreading awareness and making it clear where you stand on an issue should be consistent across all departments in your organization.
Stop promoting your products and services for a bit and start talking about the current climate, unless your product and services relate to what is happening (i.e. donating proceeds to the Black Lives Matter organization). It’s a great time to create original content that can help educate others. After all, any content you share, whether it’s on your social media platforms or website, should add value to your audience. This could be a graphic about educating others on voting or organizations they could donate/support during this time.
If you have business plans that you’ve organized months or even a year ago, they must also be put on pause. It’s a time to redirect any marketing or organizational plans you had just as you may have had to do with the pandemic. You want to be impactful and purposeful with any actions that you’re executing moving forward. If your business can give back to the Black community, start planning it. If you can host a webinar where voices of the Black community can be heard, start organizing it. There are endless possibilities for making an impact, so don’t let the idea of a setback hold you back from the potential that lies ahead.
Outside of business, make time to plan what you can do on your own time. Hit the pause button on going to brunch and take part in a local, peaceful protest. Instead of splurging on online shopping, research what organizations you can donate to and consider getting a group together to raise money. Doing good where you can is a duty, especially for those in leadership positions.
There is power in pausing. If you are not taking the time to pause and respond accordingly, you could be putting your business more at risk than saving it. Now is not the time to be silent. It is time to take responsible action. For more insight on what your business can do, Google resources from other businesses and stay engaged on social media as it’s a great platform to learn from.
There is power in pausing. If you are not taking the time to pause and respond accordingly, you could be putting your business more at risk than saving it. Now is not the time to be silent. It is a time to take responsible action. For more insight on what your business can do, Google resources from other businesses and stay engaged on social media as it’s a great platform to learn from.
At eWN, we are on a mission to spread awareness of pausing and are committed to executing just that. We strive to be a source for empowerment and education. We value inclusion and diversity in all departments and among our community. We are an organization that stands for what is right and will always fight for justice.
Here is a list of organizations where you can do your part: