All of us acclimate to change in different ways, but looking back over the last five months, it was forced on us, all of us, as a result of COVID-19.
At the onset of the pandemic, I visited with my team and asked them to keep a journal of their takeaways and thoughts as they have lived through the different stages of emotions and experiences during this [ongoing] unprecedented time. Reflection is a wonderful opportunity to think about how much we have, and even when we don’t think so, how resilient we truly are. At the risk of jumping ahead to my conclusion, I really enjoyed this collaboration with my team as it sincerely reinforced the human race’s ability to embrace change and rise to the occasion in the midst of an extraordinary time in our country. I asked my team these three questions:
1. What are we learning from this?
Ø Nothing is promised
Ø Safety in America has been compromised
Ø Things can change in 2.5 seconds
Ø Functioning during chaos with children at home is now “a thing”
Ø Being outside more is lovely and should continue after all this passes
Ø Faith helps with anxiety and “this too shall pass”
Ø Technology is so important; we’ve learned we can still connect with people absent of an office
Ø Compassion and Empathy-more frequent check-ins on residents who, during a time of social distancing, this may be the only interaction they have
Ø Learning on the other side of this that new, good best practices are being adopted and are here to stay
2. What are some “aha” moments, or “I hadn’t thought of this before, but….”?
Ø How connected we really are in this world
Ø My patience has been tested, and I have more than I thought
Ø Realizing my children are out of their element, too, and the need to remember that
Ø Is there such a thing as “normal” in America post-pandemic
Ø The quote: “We haven’t lost control of our lives, we’ve lost the illusion we were ever in control” is so very true
Ø I thought I was an introvert, but through this I’ve learned that I do need and crave human contact
Ø I’m learning my weakest links: within myself and within my team
Ø I never thought about being in an industry that is labeled as “essential” and the reassurance that brings
Ø A great thing I have realized is how many wonderful people you can utilize within Asset and how everyone's sole purpose right now is to help each other out and be collaborative
Ø I never thought about or dreamed schools would close
3. What did I take for granted?
Ø Having in-person interaction with prospects and residents
Ø Travel and the ability to see family/friends
Ø Individual freedom
Ø Human Interaction
Ø The power of a hug
Ø Being healthy
Ø Restaurants and Gyms
Ø Attending church and the importance of faith
Ø Life and the simple things
Ø Absence of sports
Ø The strength of my team
Resilience in the workplace. More than ever, a person’s ability to respond and adapt to pressures outside the norm will be what sets apart those who flourish and endure under strain. I believe everyone possesses the ability to be resilient. It comes down to the choice of how to respond to challenges and the development of pragmatic habits in the workplace: be dependable; be organized; be productive; be a problem solver.
Emotional Health. A large contributor to our general well-being is one’s self-esteem and self-worth. Cultural and civil unrest, at record levels, amplify worry and reinforce the necessity of healthy habits that support emotional health: maintain work/life balance; remain flexible; don’t dwell on failure; celebrate often.
Physical Health. It’s hard to argue that being in good physical health is one of the best things you can do for yourself: eat balanced meals; drink plenty of water; get plenty of rest; engage in regular exercise.
It’s with greater reason during times like these, that emphasis on resiliency, emotional health, and physical health are so important to us individually and collectively. Fortunately, we’ve demonstrated the ability to build relationships and be productive in a virtual medium; in other words, we can still get things done. Having said that, I think we can all agree to find comfort in the faith that this too shall pass.
I would love to hear from you. What are your lessons learned or “aha moments”?