Here we are heading into the last month of 2021, and what a year it has been!
With so many stop-starts returning to the office, uncertainty in our world and life, and the continuation of remote work, it’s no wonder people are feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of what lies ahead.
Working across numerous organisations and teams, I see such a difference in how people approach the reconnection back into their workplace and with their teams.
I believe there are three main types of feelings people are experiencing in the workplace, and depending on how they are feeling, this will determine their approach to coming back into the office.
There are those feeling exhausted, rejuvenated or indifferent.
I can personally vouch for this one; having worked 24/7 the last 18 months, I am ready for a break. For many others working from home, saving their business, homeschooling and the added stress of uncertainty, this is a common way to be feeling right now. Emerging back into the real world can feel confronting and overwhelming.
Maybe you have had the luxury of time off or have used the last 18 months as an opportunity to reflect and recalibrate. You are now supercharged with energy and ready to get back out there, maybe into a new role or industry or with new energy for what you were doing previously.
Quite a few people I have come across haven’t felt the impact of the pandemic, with many having been in a role that was autonomous or remote prior to lockdowns and physical workplace environments changing.
It's a great time to reflect and see where you sit; remember this is not a fixed position, but it will help you be more conscious that not everyone feels how you are. You need to create the space to understand and adapt in order to reconnect.
Now more than ever, we need to be adaptive, innovative and collaborative. I truly believe when a team adapts together, innovates ways of working and thinking together; then collaboration becomes a by-product of this.
As you enter back into the office, remember to put PEOPLE before PROCESS & PROGRESS. There has never been a better time to build a deep connection with your team and peers.
A few tips:
Unwrap Gifts as Team
Get your team together and get everyone to share their biggest lesson “gift” over the last two years. What did they learn, and specifically, what were the drivers, soft skills and support that enabled them to get through? When we adopt a Gift Mindset, we can use the lessons from challenges to progress ourselves and others forward and replicate success, a key to collaboration and learning.
Don't underestimate the value of regular 1:1 time with your team or peers. Invest in the time to have an intentional conversation and don’t make it always work-related. Everyone’s energy is different at the moment; this is a great way to see where people are at and adapt your leadership and coaching style to ensure deep and meaningful interaction and connection.
Let in – Let go – Let be
Do this by investing in the time, as a team, to reflect on what you need to:
New learnings, mindset, habits, ways of working, strategies, ideas and goals and new workplace set-up
-Let go of
Things that no longer serve such as old ways of thinking, unresourceful habits, unnecessary meetings and commute time, outdated strategies and plans
The things that are working and can serve you in the future
Use this opportunity to reconnect and avoid defaulting back to what was before.
2022 is only around the corner, and December can be a great foundation to build new and deeper relationships, expectations and connections as a team.
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Renée is a mentor, coach, expert facilitator and keynote speaker; She is the author of ‘Gift Mindset®‘, ‘Limitless Leadership’, and co-author of ‘Leaders of Influence’.
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