Part 1 – Your Mindset Challenge – Today we create new norms for connections to work colleagues and others with whom we interact. Try a few of these strategies today to help strengthen teams you lead, a connection to your boss, colleague, clients or vendors.
- Check in with your people to determine their preferences for connecting more frequently. Managers, don’t assume that your top performers are all handling this new work environment well. Remote work isn’t for everyone especially when it a forced choice. Extroverts may struggle with remote work to a greater degree. Equally, don’t assume introverts are ok with limited connections. Use this as an opportunity to get clarity on what kind of connection supports them the most.
- Promote a culture that assumes best intention – You’ve heard that assuming makes an ass out of u and me, right? In remote work, assumptions can be even more misleading or flat out wrong. When you can’t visibly see someone’s demeanor or hear and see signs of stress, it is easy to judge or misinterpret email or text responses. When you catch yourself about to make a harsh interpretation, pick up the phone and clarify what is fact vs. the story you might be making up.
- Connect with a balance of authenticity and optimism – If you are a manager, (or parents managing little people) remember your people are greatly influenced by how you are managing and viewing the upheaval in our lives. Being real about fears and emotions can be helpful in normalizing what they are experiencing. Equally, looking for ways to share optimistic perspectives that are authentic can be more impactful than ever right now. Optimism is contagious. If you can’t find much optimism, this may be a time when you share less and listen more. Or you might decide to be more forthcoming about how you are doing in an effort to draw this out in others. Use this time to re-think and utilize your authentic leadership style that is focused on the needs of each individual.
Part II – Giving to Others – Today’s challenge will likely stretch you to reach out to a non-traditional group of warriors on a very different front line – employees working in the grocery stores. You have likely tried to exchange pleasantries with these folks already. Awesome! Imagine, what impact we could have if we went even further to verbalize or show appreciation more directly. These hardworking and stressed employees are no doubt dealing with many people at their worst. Be creative and share some support, laughter and understanding to these peeps on your next visit. Let me know how creative you get in this challenge. All smiles just thinking of this one. The grocery stores can be a very scary place right now!