Enjoy this video transcript of this week’s Monday Moment episode.
Good morning and happy Monday! I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment.
I hope it’s a great Monday for you. And as we progress through the remaining three weeks of June, these Monday Moments are dedicated to post pandemic reopening issues. Wow, we’ve had a lot going on in the last couple of months, but we’re finally to a point where we can reopen and start that flow of business and maybe even the feeling of being productive. But, one key question that may be on your mind, that I know has been on the mind of many of our coaching clients and leaders we have the privilege of serving and working with is what the heck are my new skill sets? Meaning, what do I now bring to the table? That, then leads to the question of, do I, in fact, bring anything to the table now that is any better? Yes, you do. And while you may not put “Survived the Pandemic” on a tee-shirt, well maybe on a tee shirt, but not on your resume or your LinkedIn profile, there are certainly new skill sets that you’ve become quite good at during this time period. Take a listen and or watch this video as today’s Monday Moment highlights three of those very specific, invaluable and related to leadership, new and or even more well practiced skills.
Your first brand new skillset, if you didn’t have it before, is flexibility. And certainly, all through this pandemic period, and then with the upheaval politically and among various differences in many groups of people, flexibility is the name of the game. You have a very peaceful protest in one area of town that will lead you to being flexible because you reroute your traffic, unless you wish to wait or participate. You have expectations for unemployment payments and those will require you to be flexible in when they arrive. Even prior to those moments in time, we’ve been practicing flexibility on all things Zoom. I think I’ve even started using the phrase. “Oh, for about a love of Zoom”, because on many of those phone calls, we’ve had to be flexible with timing, with things said when the mic was hot and no one knew it, things that happened on camera, like dogs in your lap, or children, or cats, or people wanting to create creative backgrounds, but didn’t really know how to do it and it went wrong and lastly, or heaven forbid in the early days of some zoom sessions, or any online meeting platform, when hackers would interrupt your meeting and fill the screens with, um, let’s just say things that maybe were in the category of untoward or unsavory antics. We’ve all practiced untold amounts of flexibility. And you’re now able to say, “yeah, you learned a few things and you’re probably far better at many”. So are those you lead. Remember this when you’re leading others because for one, these are the people that you have the privilege of serving and number two, your leadership spreads in that they watch listen, learn, and generally repeat what you do now for many years, and often longer. I have referred to this arena of leadership as being contagious. So, within Contagious Leadership and it’s ten steps, you certainly have accelerated in this area. Flexibility is not only the name of the game when working with people, but a skill set you have become probably far better at then you realize during the pandemic period.
For the second skill set, I would encourage you to think about just how much patience you’ve developed. Patience with each other, patience, at least on most days, with your family, patients with technology, and patients with those you have the privilege of leading. (and in many cases, those to whom you report) You’ve likely even had to be patient in an upward direction. I’m certain, particularly if in your organization there have been layoffs or furloughs, or dare I say more than the average changes, you could put developed double or triple the amount of patience you thought you had previously. We’ve all had to practice so often. Yet, there’s something else I want you to consider in this realm of patience. I’ve long said that the amount of stress we are all experiencing, not only with the negativity, the news, the media, the political divisiveness, the ranting and raving of any number of various groups and people about other groups and people, not to mention the sheer uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic and you having potentially lost your job, getting less pay (and began laughing when you discovered what the amount of that employment actually looks like…. that that stress we’re experiencing is far more traumatic than has yet to really be uncovered or measured, or that most of us want to admit. Now, you may have practiced patience, but you may have also practiced suppression. And what would be good encouragement is that you start shifting your focus of “practicing patience”, or simply not reacting, toward yourself. Having patience with ourselves, and the workload we can carry, and our focus, and our ability to remember one appointment from the next right now is tricky and difficult. I had one coaching client who has to look at his phone calendar at every single appointment and meeting, because he can’t keep in his head all the meetings of the day, just from the stress and trauma of the reality of our situation. You’ve developed patience and you’re probably still practicing it. That, my friend is a valuable leadership skillset. And if you didn’t have it before, or maybe you made the mistake of praying for patience, only to get more opportunities to practice, you can stop those prayers now. Um, but you’ve certainly got more than I bet you’ve ever had before.
The third skill set is equally important, and on a slightly different note. It’s the ability to show creativity. I’m certain you have developed, and practiced and maybe even perfected, creativity. For example, when all the stores closed, or the stores in your area, and you couldn’t buy what you wanted, or at least when you wanted it, like…let’s say toilet paper, you either borrowed from a friend, you did without, or you laughed, along with me, about the various usages of leaves on Facebook. But, when your store is closed and you couldn’t get certain things you wanted, that were not essential, certainly, again, you either did without, or came up with a way to borrow, or you got on Amazon. And even Amazon’s delays were helping us practice even further the art of patience, but you also developed creativity. Schools got immediately creative on how to deliver content to our children. Universities became immediately creative on how to shift classes from live brick and mortar to online offerings. Almost instantaneously, graduations have been made creative birthday celebrations of big milestones. All were done in ways that were creative. Even celebrations of life got creative. Even how we’re supposed to be working while homeschooling, while in some cases, being a single parent or at least being the only one who’s taking on those responsibilities. We’ve learned and practiced creativity in the virtual workspace, that I find is not for the faint of heart. You may have found the same, but here’s what I want to reassure you of: Not only did you develop a sense of creativity, but in the blink of an eye, in a circumstance perhaps never before made possible and certainly likely, never again, you were able to practice, develop, and hone in on this new skill set and now you get to keep it forever.
As you start looking at your reopening position and you’re reopening experience, plans, or process, also look at the feelings of your reopening people. What new skill sets have they developed? Maybe that’s a topic for your first face to face meeting, if you’re now in phase two, or just brave. Take a look at the new skill sets they’ve developed. Talk about the new skillsets you’ve developed. Let’s make the remainder of 2020 far better and perhaps even far more normal.
I’m Monica Wofford. And that’s your Monday Moment have a great week and even better Monday. And of course, as we stopped saying for a while, stay contagious up. And if you wanted a copy of the book, contagious leadership, ContagiousCompanies.com click on store on the top right and you’ll see all of our leadership learning resources have a great week.
We’ll talk to you soon.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a celebrated leader who develops future leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm delivers and designs leadership training for managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared, and the leaders who promoted them. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica and members of the Contagious team may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.