Regardless of whether you worked in physical or virtual or hybrid environments throughout the pandemic, you changed. So did everyone else. You (and they) became a survivor of “working during the pandemic.”
Some of you feel resentment, and others relief, to return to physical work environments. Yet doing the same things as “before” feels different, doesn’t it? The same collaborative actions and reactions now seem awkward and out of sync. We feel off-balance.
In addition, regardless of where (or whether) we worked during the past two years, we experienced personal and professional life events. Some events were difficult, even painful. Plus, some of us experienced loss of a loved one or knew a colleague or friend who had lost someone. Some of you posted these events on social media throughout the past two years. Others of you chose not to social share.
In our post pandemic reality, you just may have no idea what the next person has endured over the past two years.
Perhaps the biggest post pandemic lesson learned is to be continuously mindful that everyone experienced some challenge, angst, pain, or compromise. That challenge created a profound sense of loss for them.
Keep in mind that friends, family, and colleagues still may be wrestling with their loss. It is the burden they carry back into workspaces and social spaces today. Also keep in mind that, depending on where we all sit around the table, we survive(d) the same things differently.
Thus, you would be remiss if you dismissed their burden as something they easily will “get over.”
That is why I encourage each of you to begin daily post pandemic (aka, future-forward) conversations and meetings with a “how are you really doing?” check-in. And really mean what you say: this is a powerful question. It should not be trivialized. Thus, be prepared to accomplish nothing else during that conversation or meeting than that individual’s need to tell you what burdens them. You may not be able to fix things; however acknowledging and listening and hearing them out is a post pandemic gift.
While your colleagues may not want to burden you with their burdens, sitting around that table and acknowledging the load they carry with them moves everyone forward, together. One millimeter at a time.
What are the post pandemic lessons learned that you choose to apply each day?
Catalyzing you to be ahead of what is new, next, and continuously changing. | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Complex Problem Solving | Speaker, Consultant, Mentor |
How do you become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable throughout your career trajectory as the problems you solve become more complex? Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset ™ speaking, consulting, and mentoring programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more innovatively as they create and implement innovative and robust business outcomes together. Regardless of whether you are a traditional thinker or a more creative one, use her 3 Core Questions, 4 Change Agreements, and 5 Professional Whys so everyone gets to where they really need to go, together.
Babette walks her talk so you can walk yours. A speaker and consultant, Babette leverages her own professional, cross-functional experience in new product development and market research to become your concierge mentor. Babette is a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver, Duke Corporate Education licensed Strategic Agility practitioner, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association (NSA). Delivered virtually or in-person. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available in soft cover and digital formats on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.