Hard to believe it’s November and COVID is still occupying headlines and dictating our lives. Also hard to believe that last week, almost unmentioned, we passed the milestone of 5m people globally dying from the pandemic.
So as we worry about whether we’ll be out for Christmas, we think it’s an opportunity to think about the spirit of Christmas and the fact that behind each of those 5million deaths are human stories of tragedy and sacrifice. Each of those 5million people have had loved ones who haven’t been able to be with them; friends and whanau who need support and we can’t give it in the way we want to…simply ‘being there’ for people has taken on a whole new element of difficulty, and, for most of us, impossibility.
And what about the families that can’t be together at any time, let alone Christmas? Whether the separation is by COVID border, a country border or even a technology or cost border…everyone has a story and everyone’s story is important to them.
It’s a human condition to have an emotional response to change (particularly changes not instigated by us and ones that we feel we have no control over). Being able to share our personal stories is important to navigating through change well, and so is choosing how we react to change.
Managing this current, highly changeable environment in your workplace is one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced in 2021. Here are our tips for what’s worked for us (and in some of our clients’ businesses):
- Make conscious space and time to discuss how changes are impacting your team and you
- Give everyone time and space to reflect on ‘what’s up’ for them and share insights and thoughts that could help
- Take time to think about what you can do at a very individual level to help people navigate changes – different people will need different kinds of support and at different times. Develop a culture where it’s OK for people to ask for help early
We’ve found that by doing this a unintended benefit is that you free up time to not discuss COVID and to get on with the business of doing business and living well regardless of the environment we find ourselves in.