As the Coronavirus pandemic rolls on, weird as it may seem, many people have reached a point where the initial shock of the situation has passed, and now, we’re operating with a little more focus and clarity. So, as positive leaders, we have to ask ourselves: are we using this time wisely?
Now is the time to take stock of what happened, what’s currently happening, and what’s expected to happen in the future. Plus, we need to assess what opportunities are possible. Whether you are an essential worker who’s on the front-lines every day or you’re working from home, here are five key questions you can ask yourself and your team. Even if you’re stuck at home and out of work right now you can still use these questions for yourself and loved ones to help you figure out some next steps.
1. How are we doing so far in the face of this crisis?
Have everyone, including you, rate this on a scale of 0-10 where 0 means we’re doing terrible and 10 means we’re doing spectacularly well. As you gather and review the scores, you’ll get a sense of how well the team is doing and how much course-correction might be needed to keep people feeling engaged and secure during these turbulent times.
2. What can we do to make life feel better?
Everyone has challenges right now—parents trying to school kids and work full-time from home, essential workers risking their lives every day, and those out of work stressed about the bills that are piling up with no way to pay them. Not to mention, we’re all suffering from a lack of social interaction. There are so many ways that life doesn’t feel so great. But, as a positive leader, are you dwelling on that, or are you asking yourself and your team, okay, but how do we make it even just a little better? You might be surprised at some of the suggestions that emerge from asking this simple question…and they might even help with the next question…
3. How can we not only survive this, but come out even stronger?
Resilience is usually the word that comes to mind when we think about surviving a difficult experience. Beyond resilience, there’s what’s called post-traumatic growth, which is when you not only bounce back, you exceed the level you were at before. As positive leaders, we need to be fostering resilience and aiming for post-traumatic growth. So, by asking this question, and listening to the answers, you’ll mitigate any victim mentality that’s starting to creep in. And, you’ll start shifting the collective mindset into one of creativity and innovation that can help your organization survive and thrive.
4. Are there new learning opportunities here?
There are so many learning opportunities in this crisis. I’ve heard from leaders who have developed new and deeper bonds with their employees as they’ve taken the time to check in with them and show that they care. I’ve heard from leaders who say this situation has finally provided the time and clarity to evaluate their professional path and realize they want to reinvent their career or business. I’ve heard from leaders who used to be reluctant to employ virtual team members and who now see the advantages of doing so. I’ve heard from leaders who have figured out how to diversify their offerings to keep their business alive. I could go on and on…but you get the idea. What are your learning opportunities right now? There are plenty. Don’t miss out on them because you didn’t take the time to contemplate this important question.
5. What are we going to do differently in the future?
Even though it might be a while, at some point, life will resume. It might not look exactly the same as before Covid-19, but we will find a new normal. When that happens, are you just going to revert to what you were doing before, or are you going to operate differently moving forward? This pandemic has shown us that the unthinkable is absolutely possible. So, have this conversation with your team to determine how your organization can be ready to weather other crises and still come out on top.
These questions are simple, but they’re not easy. That’s exactly why you need to be a leader who involves the whole team in this discussion. The more your employees feel involved and heard, the more vested they’ll be in finding solutions. And, as you work through this bizarre journey together, you’ll emerge more versatile and stronger than before.
If you’ve got questions or you just want to share what you’re doing to use this time wisely, drop me a line at [email protected] – I always love to hear from you. Plus, if you want me to address a specific topic in these posts, just let me know.
Also, if you want some simple practices that can increase positivity for you and your team, just download my book for free: 25 Tips for Leaders: How to Leverage the Science of Happiness to Increase Performance, Productivity, and Profitability.