Astronaut crews living and working in space experience as a matter of course what many of us experienced unexpectedly during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. Consider these similarities:

● They are physically isolated for a long period of time from family, friends, and the majority of their work colleagues.

● Their daily in-person interactions are limited to the few people they live with and their other interactions are intermediated through digital technology.

● Their home also serves as their workplace.

● They are surrounded by a dangerous environment that poses a threat to their physical health. (For them, the dangers include…


Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

As the world opens up again following COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, employers that were previously accustomed to a steady hum of activity in the cubicles and corridors must decide if they are going to bring people back into the office full-time, continue to allow them to work remotely, or come up with a hybrid arrangement that provides for a mix of in-office and remote work. A positive way to view this decision is that it provides a fresh start, an opportunity to strengthen the relational subcultures throughout your organization.

I believe that over time, employers are going to lean toward having…


Should the term “nervous breakdown” be embraced again? One of my (Michael’s) favorite journalists, Jerry Useem, provides a fascinating look at the history of the nervous breakdown in this article he wrote for The Atlantic titled “Bring Back the Nervous Breakdown.” Where Useem lands aligns with my thinking as an advocate for fostering connection, both for its positive effect on individuals and for how it improves the performance of groups, as well as what I share with clients about the harmful effects of stress and disconnection.

Useem explains that while the umbrella term of “nervous breakdown” has fallen out of…


Remember doing “Show and Tell” or presenting to your classmates as the “Student of the Week” when you were in elementary school? As it turns out, our teachers were on to something. Bringing back an updated version of this practice would be more than merely an entertaining way to enliven a meeting at work. It may be just what teams need in year two of the Covid-19 pandemic.

How well are the members of your team doing at being teammates, especially if you pivoted to working remotely almost a year ago? How has the extended time being physically apart impacted…


Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

When a big storm is forecast to come our way, Katie, my wife, starts to plan ahead, just in case we lose power: non-perishable food in the pantry (check), flashlights with working batteries (check), gas in the car (check), some cash on hand (check). She reminds family members to charge up their phones and laptops. The havoc the storm may, or may not, cause is unknown but she has taken proactive steps to get us through.

If you travel by air, you’re acquainted with the standard safety instructions that are demonstrated by flight attendants before the plane takes off. Among…


Photo by Paul Millerd on Unsplash

Practically overnight the vast majority of office workers became remote workers when social distancing measures put in place in March to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus dramatically changed the way we go about our days. If that was you, over the last several months, you have had a taste of the long-touted benefits of remote work — no commute (a savings of nearly an hour a day for the average American plus the cost of commuting) and flexibility. …


Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

How can we protect people in the workplace so they don’t contract Covid-19? The Centers for Disease Control just released guidelines for offices that include temperature and symptom checks; encouraging employees who have Covid-19 symptoms or sick family members to stay home; prohibiting hand-shaking, hugs, and fist bumps; wearing face coverings; physical distancing of work stations (or separation by plastic shields); and eliminating seating in common areas.

Will people follow-through and do their part for the good of the whole? …


Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Are you home and feeling alone? Are you home and wishing you could be alone for even a few minutes? The Covid-19 virus has caused many organizations to move large numbers of employees from working together at the office to working remotely at home. For other organizations, it has meant temporarily shutting its doors and having to furlough workers or let employees go. Unless you are an “essential worker,” gone is the time you spent interacting with strangers, colleagues and friends as you commuted to work, ducked out to grab a meal or run an errand, and did your job…


The novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the need for social distancing, quarantine and isolation so that vulnerable individuals are not exposed to the virus and healthcare systems are not overwhelmed. Collectively, we understand the goodness of “flattening the curve” by each of us doing our part to slow the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 is not the only epidemic we are facing. Separating ourselves because of COVID-19 comes at a time when America and many other nations are in the midst of an epidemic of loneliness whose antidote is greater positive social connection.

Our current situation — the…


Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

With the exception of America, suicide rates over recent decades have declined in most of the world. Suicides in the U.S. have risen more than 50% from 2005 to 2017 and now exceed deaths by motor vehicle incidents. In 2017, the most recent year data is available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported 10.6 million people seriously considered suicide, 1.4 million attempted suicide and 47,000 committed suicide.

We can look at those numbers dispassionately, understanding they represent individual lives, but not stopping long enough to let the reality sink in. So, here’s another way to put the number…

Michael Lee Stallard

My calling is to connect people and help them develop and maintain cultures of connection. I write, give keynote speeches and teach on that topic.

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