The challenge of adjusting to the Covid-19 pandemic has proven a difficult and sensitive one for businesses and their executives, but it has also come as a significant learning curve. Speaking to the Leaders Council, integrative psychotherapist Lorraine Tindale opens up about the impact of the crisis on her profession and how she has embraced the need to adapt her approach as a learning opportunity. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office’s measures to repatriate British citizens during the height of the pandemic have been criticised by the Foreign Affairs Committee which is now urging the government to learn from its shortcomings.
Leadership in Focus
On the Leaders Council podcast, interviewer Scott Challinor sat down with integrative psychotherapist Lorraine Tindale. Her speciality lies in trauma-informed symptoms that cause anxiety and depressive and dissociative disorders, with her own practice, Lorraine Tindale Counselling & Psychotherapy, set up with the intention of providing treatment to people suffering from such disorders.
Telling of how she went about adapting her services in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown, Tindale said: “It has been eye opening as a person and professional. I have changed how I work to adapt to this situation, and I have been speaking to others in my field for guidance to seek reassurances that I am working safely. It has been a real period of collaboration and reflection for our industry.”
Working in the field of mental health, Tindale explained about how the wellbeing of clients was constantly at the forefront of her thinking as she set about adapting her provision, even in the finer safety details such as wearing personal protective equipment [PPE].
She said: “Mental health has been hugely impacted during this time. Those with existing disorders have suffered more from a lack of social interaction and connection. Communication and physical interaction are hugely important, and some have not been able to have that.
“When it was safe for me to hold socially distanced sessions with clients, I have been conscious of wearing minimum personal protective equipment, primarily over my face. I do not want this to act as a trigger for clients with complex disorders who are undergoing therapy. I need to ensure I do not seem unwelcoming and they must be able to read my facial cues and make eye contact to ensure they connect with me during their therapy.”
Tindale’s approach of nurturing her clients and helping guide them on a pathway to wellbeing also tied in with her own personal views of leadership as a whole and her view on the role that leaders must be play.
Tindale said: “Leaders are people who take charge and lead, but a leader doesn’t always have to be at the front. The best leaders, I find, sit behind, and encourage people to find their own way and are there to guide them.
“People who are doing something different and being courageous in adversity and paving a way forward are also people who I consider to be good leaders.”
It suffices to say that Tindale has displayed such qualities of her own in mustering her response to the challenges of the Covid-19 lockdown.
In a new report, the cross-party Foreign Affairs Committee has criticised the Foreign Office’s repatriation initiative to bring UK citizens home at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic for not being swift enough.
The committee said that the government was over-reliant on commercial airlines and criticised “misleading” advice issued to Brits.
The Foreign Office was faced with bringing home around 1.3 million UK citizens who were travelling abroad at the time, and the committee says that it was simply “outpaced by events” in trying to get people back to Britain.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: "Against the background of local lockdowns and international flight bans, the team worked tirelessly to keep commercial routes open as long as possible, while bringing stranded Brits home on 186 charter flights from 57 countries and territories.
"We have retained a repatriation team for the remainder of the year and boosted investment in our consular services and crisis management to ensure we are further prepared to support Brits caught up in the pandemic."
The committee concluded that too many Brits abroad were not given the support they should “reasonably expect to receive” and that too little was done to offer any financial support to any who were facing hardship.
The Foreign Affairs Committee acknowledged that support such as emergency loans was made available but deemed that those in need of it were not made sufficiently aware.
Instead, initial advice issued recommended Brits stranded abroad to borrow money from associates.
The committee said that individuals who had responded to a survey had found Foreign Office advice either “outdated or unhelpful”, while four out of every ten people could not contact their nearest UK embassy.
Conservative chair of the committee, Tom Tugendhat, said that advice was “confusing, inconsistent and lacking in compassion” as well as being found to be “misleading and outdated” and sometimes “entirely absent.”
Tugendhat added: "The lack of accurate, helpful information meant many felt forgotten and as though they had been left to fend for themselves."
The committee found that by the end of June, the government had spent £40.5 million of a £75 million fund dedicated to providing charter flights to bring UK citizens back from abroad. It also pointed out that European countries such as Germany which has used more charter flights had been able to repatriate citizens far more swiftly.
Statistics quoted by the committee showed that the German government chartered 260 flights to bring 260,000 citizens home, compared to the 186 charter flights used by the UK government to bring home roughly 1.3 million British nationals.
Leadership in History
July 30, 1966, is a day that long-suffering supporters of England’s national football team can always look back on with pride and nostalgia, as Sir Alf Ramsey’s men, captained by Bobby Moore, triumphed 4-2 over West Germany after extra-time at the Old Wembley Stadium to lift the FIFA World Cup.
After Helmut Haller’s opener for the West Germans was cancelled out by goals from Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, England were denied victory in normal time by Wolfgang Weber’s stoppage time equaliser.
However, two further extra-time goals from Sir Geoff, the first of which was barely adjudged to have gone over the goal-line by linesman Tofiq Bahramov, saw England coast to a 4-2 victory to lift the World Cup for the first and, to date, only time.
England’s World Cup triumph marks one of the greatest achievements for British sport, and Sir Geoff Hurst remains to this day the only man to score a hat-trick in the final of a FIFA World Cup.