Many of us would have done things for the first time in the last couple of months. It could be picking up a home chore or doing work differently. It could be being a more hands on parent or being more dependent on relationships than before. It could be understanding what kind of friend one is or it could be understanding what kind of friends one wants more of. We have had life become up close and personal to a heightened sense in the Covid times.
Coming more closer to the way we work, starting anew has been both at a micro and a macro level where some of us have started new roles, joined new organizations or taken a break from our traditional work days to invest deliberately or by default into personal upskilling. Starting anything anew can be unsettling and anxiety provoking or exciting and challenging, or everything together. It can also be something you were ready for or even anticipating, or it can be seemingly dreadful – like being thrown in the deep without warning or a float. While we grappled whether we would go back to the older times, we also treaded becoming newer versions of ourselves, crafting new relationships and building new work styles. So when we look back at the distance we have crossed or look ahead at the milestones we still need to achieve, what is it that we need to build something anew?
- Start from where you are: It would be tempting to revisit the past and draw comfort from there, or even dream about a future when things would be more streamlined. To come back to the point that it all begins from now is simple, but important.
Example: Relook at having a difficult conversation anew – Going back to the past would mean how you have conducted these communications and how people have responded. Going into the future would mean a time when the workforce is putting into practice the feedback and the heat of moment has passed. Being in the present would mean blocking your calendar for the conversation and taking steps to know the person, prepare your content and anticipate the challenges. Ask yourself – how has the environment become new and what impact would that have on how I would have otherwise gone about doing business.
- Take calculated risks where learning from experience isn’t an option: In times like these when there is hardly a blueprint to go back to, to understand where to steer oneself and one’s organization, it would be more important than ever to strategize effectively and take calculated risks.
Example: In a performance development conversation, you may find it difficult to demand performance or productivity while the team is stretched thin but it is something you would need to do. Instead of thinking how you may not be liked for what you say, think how the new environment makes it imperative that your team develops new skills to cope to thrive – how can you support them to become ‘fit’ so they can ‘survive’.
- Make time to prepare: One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make while taking swift action is failing to precede action by planning. While some decisions need to be taken in the moment, larger and more encompassing decisions that steer directions of lives and business need to be delved at through critical thinking and brainstorming. Time for this preparation is essential.
Example: Deciding on reopening the workplaces after circuit breakers have discontinued – Prepare for business continuity in all situations that can arise in opening or not opening the workplaces. What will the new environment and the new dynamics mean for the people and their work. Who can be the ambassadors for change and what can make this change be more accepted by the team.
We at Human Dynamic, support not only the top leaders but also the middle managers in developing the power of strategic and critical thinking to be able to reinvent themselves to successfully support the teams they lead. If you are looking at adding a breath of fresh perspective to their managerial style, reach out to us to discuss more! We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Leadership & Learning, Senior Consultant
PhD (Clinical Psychology), MA(Psychology)