Every citizen of the world is navigating unprecedented change in this time when there is no “normal”.
As social beings, we rely on structure and connection with others to guide and make meaning I our lives, but those don’t look familiar anymore. In times of disruption, we turn to the leaders in our work world for calm and focus so we can make sense out of how to be.
Now, maybe more than ever, it’s critical for leaders to be present and stay connected. That’s a tall order when we must be physically distant.
To thrive in this crisis, we have to reimagine how we are ‘being’ and harness the power within us to be a beacon of light.
To help you in this pursuit, we’re sharing strategies, tips and stories to bring you some grounding. You will find ideas about accessing your strengths, remaining resilient, leveraging your sphere of influence, and leading with grace.
We’ll start with what we believe are the most foundational elements of successfully leading through the chaos: Being Present and Staying Connected.
Stay Present and Clear
When distractions are present it’s difficult to focus on the here and now. Maybe you are concerned about our health and safety.
Perhaps you’re working from home and have children walking in and out of your “office”. These distractions are very real. But, if we are going to be successful in making the connections we’ll talk about next, let’s first think about having a clear head so we can be fully present.
One that we like (thank you, Liz Gilbert!) is 5,4,3, 2, 1. You can do this anywhere or any time. First take a moment to arrive, relax and pause. Now notice:
5 things you can see
4 things you can hear
3 things you can feel
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
By getting in touch with your senses in this simple way, you can be truly present and available for the connections that are so incredibly important.
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Nothing is more important than the people you care about. It’s easy to lose sight of this in chaos mode, and terms like “social distancing” certainly don’t help.
We need to be safe, but we do not need to isolate. There are many ways to make meaningful connections and doing so absolutely matters to your people.
Those connections look different now, but you can make them happen when you are creative and deliberate.
On a personal level, I’m sharing pictures with friends, reading books virtually with my family and feeling close to those I care about.
I can’t hug them, but I can touch their lives.
As a leader, nothing matters more than your ability to be present with your heart and mind right now.
Here are some connection tips for you to consider:
- Be human – you may not have answers but don’t let that stop you from connecting
- Hold quick virtual huddles, not to talk business, but just check in
- Redefine how your team can come together and inspire one another
- Resist the temptation to turn a connection into a ‘check-up’ – that can feel like micromanaging and have the opposite effect
- Persistently Connect – both planned and spontaneous touch bases. Don’t expect that others will reach out to you when they need your leadership.
- Think outside the box. Try new things that can spark energy, hope and the surfacing of important topics – work related and not.
This is not ‘business as usual’ and the challenges we all face call us to stretch beyond our comfort zone and to be more vulnerable than might be comfortable – we can do this!
One last note…
The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra demonstrating the beautiful music we can play together while we are apart.