If you haven’t yet tried your hand at cooking and baking your grandma’s favourite old recipes, caught up on reading that pile of books on your bed side table or making that blanket, wooden boat or dollhouse you dreamt of ever since you were child, you have possibly missed out on that particular wave of euphoric COVID-craziness. If you ticked all those boxes, well done and good on you, you may, or may not be the more prepared when facing the next wave of reality, but if nothing else you feel good about yourself.
As we start winding up to level 1, we find ourselves confronted with a whole new set of challenges we may not be prepared for. COVID certainly has had its time with us, taking us on a rollercoaster ride filled with emotional highs and lows. Very few people I have spoken to, at some stage didn’t hit an all-time mask-off moment of sheer panic, totally meltdown or an anxiety attack of tsunami proportions. The upside was that we had more time than usual to process these highs and lows. We suddenly found ourselves with mid-morning coffee breaks dedicated to catching up with friends afar and near, laughing, crying and sometimes filled with gratitude for the time to reconnect. And then there were those 3am shadows on the ceiling, taunting us to slip into the dark cloak of fearful fantasies of losing our jobs or worst still our children to the dreaded CORONA-monster.
Most of us, or at least those reading this, survived in whichever way we saw fit, often meaning very unfit. And here we are 5 months into this unexpected event that shook the whole world, not just our own reality, possibly standing at a crossroad. Lockdown exposed us and amplified our desires and our deepest fear. It showed us that there is more to life than money and highlighted the importance of a close-knit network of family and friends who truly care for our well-being. Simplicity and minimalism became a buzzword as we cleared out heaps of unneeded and unwanted goods and passed them onto charitable cases and causes who possibly needed none of it either. Post, COVID-lockdown, we are now ‘out there,’ our hearts’ desires have been exposed if only to ourselves, brought into the light leaving us with a new inner knowing and new consciousness. Is all good when you don’t know what you don’t know, but oh my, the day that you become aware of that which you didn’t know, that day is one to look forward to with equal doses of anticipation and trepidation. That day brings gifts sometimes wrapped in the pain of confrontation and decision making.
As a business coach I have been overwhelmed by the very specific ways in which this time has been a direct answer to the prayers of many of my clients. In many cases people who were dreadfully unfulfilled in their current careers have been pushed, often unceremoniously to the edge and over it to fall into the abyss of not knowing what would happen next, only to come up to find fresher air and a better view. I must add that this is usually in cases where they have dived deep enough to confront their fears, meet their demons and move through the sludge and back up into the light. As an observer of truth, I have been a curious bystander gently encouraging, cheering and finally celebrating each breakthrough, each acknowledgement of the truth and each release of all that doesn’t serve the new person my client is evolving into. Everything is a choice and I have also witnessed how just skimming the surface has left those coming up for breath, in the shallow waters, still not truly content with their new place, position or reality in life and another one or two deep dives ahead of them.
Coming back to the workplace, many employees now wish to continue working from home, whilst others cannot get back to the office sat enough away from the mouths to feed and daily demands of the home. Management are left with decisions about virtual offices, flexible time schedules and how to keep everyone together and unified under one umbrella, which now exists all over town. The corporate culture they have invested so much in doesn’t even have a wall to hang on and the awards no longer have a counter to be displayed on.
Traditionally we know and statistics show that when it comes to draconian budget cuts marketing and training are the first to go. These are often perceived as soft fluffy stuff that cannot be measured and only the hardcore measurables get to stay because they can be counted. This week, a longstanding client of mine, the franchisor of 5 food franchise outlets, which have been extremely harshly affected by lockdown and still are, decided that now is the time, more than any other time to invest in his people. By putting 20 of his team leaders through a two day Performance Booster using the Personal Success Profile the team were prepared for the next wave. By understanding their personal strengths and weaknesses, by completing exercises to enhance confidence, remind them of their purpose and redefine their personal goals, the company can look forward to re-motivated, highly engaged and committed team leaders ready to take their teams, head on, into the next wave of COVID.
The time is now, to invest in those in your team who want to and are willing to walk the next, perhaps even harder mile, with you.
Licensor of the Performance Booster Program