Life in lockdown and extended versions of it is taking a toll on people. Work in the lockdown seems to be more intense and to be taking a toll too. There is insecurity and fear that is doing the rounds. There is also the need for validation and being made to feel worthwhile. Add to this list. chores, no help, managing the home and the kids if at all and you have enough cause for concern.
There are battles being fought off everyday at work and otherwise and enough to chew off from task lists and to dos. There are brands and there is content consumption and there is news to be caught up on. At the end of the day, there is exhaustion and fatigue and to add to all this the fear of missing out. There is also a tendency to project the way you feel into your daily work and this can hamper relationships or work. How do you navigate this to feel better and perform better?
As a leader, the team will currently be looking more for strength and guidance and if we let our own selves go or lose it, it can have far reaching implications. Even under normal circumstances, there should always be one stronghold, if the career is shaky, home front needs to be solid or vice versa. In the now, the chances that both could be wrecked by the circumstances are far higher and it has never been more important to separate the two as is now.
There are times when out of sheer agitation and frustration you end up saying things you don’t mean and if this is done publicly, it reflects on you and your behaviour no matter what the cause of the issue in the first place. This will also strain relationships and undervalue your worth in your sphere of work and influence.
Spare a moment to think of the people involved and again operate with empathy as everyone is currently sailing in the same boat.
The best way to deal with this is to use the rule of routine to keep spaces and times separate for the two and overlaps to the minimum.
It is also good to:
- Identify the root cause of concern and check where it originates
- Give it only the required attention it demands under all circumstances considered
- Give the issue a priority score and only pick the ones that matter
- Address the issue – either with the party concerned or with yourself in that order of priority
- Have the reasons why this makes for dialogue ready with cause-effect analogies
- Always use the I language where you describe how you felt
- I language helps in making the outcome, devoid of the other person becoming defensive or offensive
- It also ensures you take ownership of how you feel, and this helps in the conversation
- Do not jump straight into it, take your time to assess and reassess the situation
- Situational responses are always better as opposed to making anything personal
- Always respond, do not react, easier said than done, but always better outcomes are driven by this
- Conflict is normal, just accept it and leverage it for a fruitful dialogue
- Conversations help clear the air, have them and have them openly
- It is ok to be angry and upset, but reacting with anger does not help clear the situation
- It is ok to not be ok, acknowledge it
- Always go with your gut and give it the benefit of the doubt if you are unsure
- Observe, listen, process, analyse and assess before you jump to any conclusions
- Leverage the head and the heart together if needed
- Do not let your mood define your behaviour, stay in control of your emotions
- Always treat people with utmost respect
Here are a few observations from my end in this period and I am recommending a combination of things that have worked for me personally. Let us stay sorted and let us keep a check on our emotions. Let us also reach out and help someone if we feel that they are overwhelmed or acting out unusually.
If you are at the receiving end of something unpleasant, the same rules of respect and empathy apply. Life is a full circle, what goes around, comes back around…
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