Many are asking: “ When will this be over?” A tiny prolific virus is putting a vice grip on humanity, in combination with economic uncertainty, and social unrest. There is a pervasive feeling of fatigue and disillusionment across the world.
1. Stoic Acceptance:
It is important to work with deck of cards in hand rather than the ones we wish we had. The situation has carried on a lot longer than many hoped for, and the end is not in sight. We cannot accurate predict what that end will look like.
View this as a long-term reality.
Many teams started this off with short term assumptions – let’s sprint through this and things will be back to normal in no time. Many leaders and manager working from home work extended hours and have done so for 9 – 10 months on end.
- Move to a mind-set that that recognizes the this is where we are for the foreseeable future.
- Structure this “new normal” for the long haul.
2. Increase communication:
Staying connected is more difficult, and not as natural as before, but very important. “Leaders must work harder to keep the team connected and together. Those habits, and others that are within our span of control, can help retain or even strengthen the agility that will allow the team to respond to conditions as they change—and have the energy to adapt accordingly.”
- Be present and attuned to your team.
- Have real conversation with them, understand what they are going through.
3. Take a real break:
There is no point in standing at the watch point all the time. With stoic acceptance, make space to deal with the fatigue. We have all read the science behind a real break multiple time over, and yet few pay real attention to it. With no breaks, fatigue sets in which generates inefficiency, bad decisions, lower performance.
- Ensure that you and your team take real break.
- Build structure that will allow for those breaks without disrupting the organization.
- Do not make yourself indispensable.
4. Goals and purpose:
Goals give us a sense of control. Business goals, fitness goals, family goals, and professional goals. With well-defined goals we can say – “this much we know, we want to achieve these goals. They are aligned with where we are going, so let’s put some structure in place do it.”
Positive direction and reason to focus detract from the chaos around us, which we cannot influence or control in the big picture at all. The routine and discipline to achieve them builds resilience, and the structure creates a level of sanity.
- Set goals, all sorts of goals.
- Put some structure around the goals, and make it happen.
- Celebrate achievement.
The core message here is acceptance and carry on growing, achieving and resting. Spending any time on waiting for this to pass leads to missed opportunity, deflated hopes and frustrations.
Source: Experts from Reenergizing and exhausted organization: A conversation with John Richardson, McKinsey & Company Insights. Dec 1, 2020.