Less than a month ago, our work structure changed drastically. It has forced us to make us think about so many things, and leadership has never been tested as it is now. The leaders’ role has transformed from front-runner to fortitude. Your people need to be supported more than ever and now, and they need you to embrace the anxiety. Indeed after any traumatic historical event, we are forced to think and act in novel ways, and we have to ask ourselves. How do I keep going when everything around me has changed? Before we ask ourselves, what does my boss need? What does my team need? Reflect on this question. What about you?
Questions are your friend now and use them extensively. Use them to explore connections between people, between people and their ideas, their values, their ways of identifying themselves. What leaders need to emphasise is that now is that although we are physically isolated nothing we think or do is in isolation. The way leaders believe or feel, or act is always concerning other’s positions, other’s ways of thinking and acting. So questions we ask both explore the connections between people especially when your teammates have a particular feature or a specific form of thought; we now need more than ever to ask who else feels the same way to explore differences then.
Knowledge speaks wisdom listens
We must explore this challenge exercising a systems approach, meaning looking at the whole organisation at all levels. The systemic approach differs from other methods in its way of understanding human relationships: the individual is part of and influenced by different systems: family, professional, social,… People depend on each other, and their exchanges are based on implicit rules of communication that are most often used unconsciously. A person’s difficulties sometimes point to the suffering that can sometimes be that of a system. The systemic approach, therefore, considers communication and interactions between individuals. This is not the time for normality.
Here we have an opportunity to reconstruct a new way of working through a team contract, an agreement between you all as to how you as a team will function.
- How are we going to respond as a team?
- How do we feel about working online?
- How are we going to manage to work across countries that have to respond differently to the Coronavirus?
Going to work gives our life meaning, work helped us cope with so many things in life, and now we as leaders we have to ask ourselves how do our teams, and we make meaning now?
This is a time to reflect, redirect, relay and reboot, thus allowing ourselves to use this space and time beneficially for all. It is a time that can provide an opening to step back and have some space to think, it’s a choice and you have an opportunity and occasionally even the small decisions we make can have a meaningful impact on our lives and those around us.
Civilisation is facing a universal calamity and at a time where the power of choices has never been so meaningful. Yes, we still have a choice as to how and why we will react to these events. When we lose hope resentment, and anger steep in. Hence I urge you to retain the power of choice, the power of care and compassion that starts with your families including your professional family too.