There are certain people in the last month that I have spoken to more than I have in the last 6 months. Apparently all it takes is a pandemic for me to re-connect with some people!
Whether it’s people from your past or people you work with, many of us are reaching out more than ever to others at the moment. This can mean that the irony of the situation being that whilst we are not physically close to people, we might be closer and more than connected to some than ever before.
Last week we looked at Culture and how your Culture will show up in a crisis and it’s a good test to see how strong your Culture is. The nature of social distancing and isolation for many is that loneliness can creep in. By encouraging ourselves and others to seek out connections in teams and partners, we can use this sense of connection to build on collaboration, mental wellbeing and believe it or not, physical wellbeing too.
With thanks to Psychology Today, one telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure.
On the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity. Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life. People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, are more empathic to others, more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. Social connectedness therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being. Win!
There will be team members that live on their own and/or are self-isolating so aren’t able to take exercise time outside their home. These team members are in even more need of Connection. Do you know who these team members are? Are you approaching working with them differently?
So how do you and your team approach Connection in a Crisis?
- Are you doing regular calls/meetings?
- Do you know if everyone feels connected to others in the team?
- Are you focusing on work when you speak or are you encouraging time to openly communicate as you may in an office?
- Does everyone feel like they are in it together and that they’re not alone?
How we communicate has grown even more important in the last few weeks. Without face-to-face discussion, we needed to boost our listening skills, particularly when on the phone or Zoom.
- Ensure you don’t attempt to multitask whilst listening to someone else on a call
- No one wants to waste time speaking and not being heard
- Be patient and methodical in choosing to remain silent and take notes or reply only when a response was warranted.
- When appropriate, try repeating back a speaker’s words or asking for clarification to make sure your understanding is correct
- Body language is harder to read on a video call. Not everyone feels comfortable switching on their video and also depending on the angle of their screen, you might not have a clear view
Aim to be more Connected on a spiritual and emotional level with those around you by the end of this period, reflect on how this can be done effectively. However, remember that sometimes we need to dis-connect from technology to re-connect with ourselves. Give yourself some time away from others, particularly the introverts amongst us, to give us that space to reflect on those Connections.
Join us each week as we delve into each of the 7Cs of Coaching through Crisis, next week we will be looking at Control.