Right now, do you feel like you are wearing an incredibly itchy, 100% wool sweater? And no matter how much you scratch, you become more and more uncomfortable wearing that sweater. Except you cannot take the sweater off.
If you feel this way, you are not alone.
The continuous disruption of our professional comfort is something we all are dealing with. And, in fact, we have been dealing with this feeling for quite some time. Except we diverted our attention and energy to issues in our continuously changing technical and regulatory environments.
Because we still were able to apply yesterday’s toolboxes and skill sets in a reasonably productive and profitable manner.
Until now, that is. So while you may read this blog post and say: “Duh, tell me something I don’t already know, Babette!” well, if I wrote this post, say last month, you might have dismissed its relevance. Because you were professionally comfortable, then. But not now.
I offer these 3 strategies to deal with continuous disruption of your professional comfort. Because this discomfort is taking up a lot of real estate in your heads, isn’t it?
First Strategy. Not everyone is trained to be a calm, logical and precise STEM professional or left-brain thinker, like you are. More comfortable weighing facts, waiting on more data, forming hypotheses, assessing controllable aspects and fluctuating ones. When interacting virtually (because who isn’t these days) with cross-disciplinary colleagues, be more patient instead of dismissive. Because their emotions, insights and ideas just may be the spark of new solutions which you might not otherwise have considered.
Next Strategy. Also, not everyone is trained to be an extroverted, interactive and engaging business professional, like you are. Thus, your professional comfort in conversation rather than listening and evaluation skills may be that itchy 100% wool sweater to non-business colleagues. What happens when you devote some of your conversational panache into asking your technically-inclined colleagues questions about their disciplines? Instead of avoiding your own professional discomfort, use this unprecedented time to upskill and cross-skill your business skills.
Final Strategy. Every meeting is not (and really never has been) linear. Sure we create Agendas and report in, ka-chunk ka-chunk, like machines in an assembly line. New rules here. Virtual meetings are non-linear and innovative ideas may arise outside the linear confines of an agenda. Use this time to deconstruct what, perhaps, is the single most scratchy and uncomfortable aspect of our professional lives: the traditional meeting format. As a result, start meetings with a health, safety and emotional wellness check in. Then, start your meeting.
Consider this. The continuous disruption of our professional comfort is now our most profoundly human common denominator. Across job titles, pay grades, levels of education, generations and professional disciplines.
Whatever outcomes we create during these times will define us future-forward. Pay close attention. We are in the midst of co-creating extraordinary, yet human and simple, professional stories. Together. One day or hour, one millimeter, at a time. What are your stories?
If you need to chat, or tell me your emerging story, click on this link. Take good care. Be safe. Most of all, stay healthy.
My One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking Programs & Consulting programs help you leverage design-driven storytelling to translate across communication disconnects between people and professional disciplines to build Trust. Together, we optimize the strategic business and human capital value of your people and your organization. Contact me here. Let’s storytell. To get to where you need to go. Together. One millimeter at a time.
- I have some great cross-functional collaboration and communication tools in my book, Do YOU Mean Business? to help you discover your extraordinary stories created in these extraordinary times.
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