Jim Martin, professor in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, was among the experts Huffington Post's Brittany Wong turned to for an article about the need for "grief leadership" during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From the article:
"'What effective leaders offer in times of crisis is realistic hope,' said James Martin, a retired army colonel and professor of social work and social research at Bryn Mawr College.
"'Realistic hope comes from a leader’s efforts and ability to seek, evaluate, and then effectively and transparently convey information to those seeking to understand,' he said. 'Ideally, the leader is providing their people with information that they can act upon.'
"Think of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s quick, science-based COVID-19 response. The governor won rave reviews from public health experts and politicians across the aisle for his no-nonsense handling of the pandemic. Before most others, he banned large events, closed restaurants and bars, and recommended canceling in-person classes at schools and colleges.
"Looking back, there are plenty of standup examples of grief leadership in the U.S. Martin pointed to President Franklin Roosevelt and his famous fireside chats. Through the Great Depression and World War II, Roosevelt quelled fears with his evening radio addresses to the country, even if he didn’t always have answers to the day’s problems.
"'Sometimes we can’t make things better and this is typically when our faithful, constant presence is the important factor, not our ability to make the pain go away,' Martin said. 'Those in the hospice field understand this concept of presence.'"
Read the full post on the Huffington Post.