1. Increase kindness through our words, actions, and by the omission of certain actions.
As my clients began adjusting to working from home, I made sure to tell them that my job is to lighten their loads and solve their problems to the best of my ability. This goal has always been (and continues to be) true, but The Age of Uncertainty provides a good opportunity to verbalize it.
I wanted my clients to know I was ready, willing, and able to assist them. Having worked from home for nearly 10 years, I didn’t have much of an adjustment when self-quarantining began. As my workflow slowed down, I educated myself about the CARES Act and I’m keeping up with new clarifying regulations, so I can help my clients, friends, and colleagues.
I chose not to send an email about a non-urgent matter to an administrative assistant over the weekend who was neither accustomed to working from home, nor over the weekend. By not adding to her workload in that moment, I hoped to ease her adjustment, rather than simply eliminate a task from my own in-box. I’m making efforts to be considerate by omission on weekdays too, by emailing clients questions rather than calling them. I’m also taking more initiative on behalf of certain clients to avoid overwhelming them with mundane decisions.
2. Recognize that we are all in this together.
Although isolation doesn’t make accepting this pearl of wisdom any easier, now is not the time to take everything so personally. Every resource, from PPE to ventilators, as well as your colleague’s last nerve, is under excessive stress these days, so lighten up. Pause before you react, and try to put yourself in the shoes of your “nemesis of the moment.”
TRANSPARENCY – that’s a buzz word worth repeating, or at least putting to good use in The Age of Uncertainty! Managers struggling to effectively communicate with their team, now’s your chance to shine! It’s the perfect time to learn to communicate with your staff transparently and without defensiveness.
I’ve had clients and colleagues call me to discuss the challenges of working remotely. My best advice to them is to stop using passive-aggressive tactics, learn to ask directly for what your business wants/needs, and to establish weekly ZOOM check-in meetings to ensure accountability towards achieving the short- and long-term goals of your enterprise.
3. It’s time to learn PATIENCE.
It’s a virtue that starts with ourselves. Increased stress can result in absent-mindedness, such as losing important papers, keys, and the like. It also decreases productivity. In The Age of Uncertainty, first and foremost, we must be patient with ourselves for these foibles and mishaps. Secondly, we must appreciate that everyone’s stress levels are elevated at this time. So what should we do?
So we’re back to basics…kindness, to ourselves and others, is definitely the new BLACK!