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So, all is quiet in the chicken coop. Oden, the rooster, has assumed control of the chickens. The baby chicks are about 16 weeks old and gaining confidence (and hopefully will be laying eggs soon), and the other hens are laying eggs and running away from Oden. We seem to have settled into a good routine – meal worms and scraps in the morning, lots of free time in the run and laying an occasional egg. Oh, so this is the life of a chicken mama.  
Or so I thought. Then I opened the lid over the nesting boxes and discovered all the straw had been removed from the boxes and spread all over the coop. Do you have any idea how long it takes a chicken to pull straw out of a nesting box? Did they take one piece at a time or fill their beaks with straw? Was it one chicken or multiple chickens partaking in this prank? These are questions that I could not answer. So I filled up the nesting boxes with more straw and closed the lid. The next day – the same thing happened again. While I don’t know the reason for their behavior, I do know that hens are typically most comfortable laying eggs in a nesting box that is full of straw.
If I hadn’t opened the nesting box, I wouldn’t have known there was a problem with their bedding. And guess what: the same can be said about people. We may think everything is OK when looking at the surface, but what happens when you look deeper?
So many people are struggling to navigate the challenges of COVID. Everything has changed, from social interactions to tensions at home to remote learning to financial stresses. And if we just look at someone on the surface, it might seem that all is OK. But, I assure you, that isn’t always the case. 
I’m going to assume that you truly care about the people around you, whether they are family, friends, employees, customers or suppliers. And you want to help them successfully navigate through these difficult times. That means you’ll need to create the space and opportunity to find out how people are really doing. I believe this can only be done by allowing yourself to be open and honest with the people you encounter. 
While we know that a hen needs a soft place to lay her egg, a human also needs a soft place to unburden their stress.  And during this pandemic, sometimes we are the hen and sometimes we are the straw.  If you need some help navigating the challenges of life, regaining traction as the economy restarts or refocusing your leadership team on your new vision, reach out to me.  I can provide a perspective and the tools to get you out of the coop and back into the run!