Your virtual workplace rooms are interesting spaces, aren’t they? And these collaboration spaces are not going away any time soon. As we move forward through 2021, together, eventually we will have hybridized workplace opportunities.
However, will you be dragging the elephants in your virtual workplace rooms back into these physical or hybridized settings? Because those elephants in the room are always lumbering around, like it or not.
The expression “the elephant in the room” originated in the 18th century in a fable about a man who goes to a museum and looks at all the tiny, fascinating things in the room. Except he fails to see a rather large pachyderm who also resides in the same room. The phrase has come to mean when people avoid discussing, or fail to acknowledge, a major problem or issue.
How are you dealing with the elephants in your virtual workplace rooms these days?
- How many virtual rooms have you entered today? This week? This month?
- First, which rooms tend to have the greatest number of elephants getting in the way, lumbering around, ignored and unacknowledged? Are these rooms associated with specific departments, groups of individuals, topics?
- Next, name these elephants, either with an individual’s name or – better yet – depersonalize with a descriptive phrase. What type of mindset do they represent?
- Also, if each one of these Mindset Elephants could talk with each other, what would they say?
- Then, how many of you carry these elephants out of the workplace and into your home each night?
Because here’s the thing. The lines between our personal and professional lives are forever blurred by our professional and emotional experiences during the pandemic. Chances are your virtual workplace rooms are located in your personal spaces. When you spend precious allegedly “personal” time dragging around the baggage and bias of encounters with those workplace elephants, you hold yourself back from purposefully moving forward. One millimeter at a time, together, with your colleagues and clients.
My advice? Starting tomorrow, go on an Elephant in the Room Safari during each meeting. First, this exercise keeps you from getting bored (just in case 😉). Then pick up a copy of my book, Do YOU Mean Business? to read Chapter 1, where I discuss the root causes of those elephants. And how you can escort them out of the room for good.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Getty Images