It is interesting to reflect on the leadership conversations I had with clients back in December of 2019 or January of 2020. The year-end goals, professional development focus areas, team building initiatives, and strategies for the future have all shifted. For those who have stayed on track with your original plans are you sure that is still right?
I have very few answers (and be wary of any consultant or coach who says they do), but I believe I have the right question, which is:
“Are we still having the most important conversation?”
The pandemic has surfaced fear, changes in lifestyle, political polarities, and a brand-new work environment. Virtual work can be a dream come true, or another person’s version of hell. Regardless of preferences, everyone is dealing with some type of COVID-responsible harm. For some, that damage means loss that is tragic and devastating; for others, the injury is unsettling, inconvenient, or scary.
Then there is the pandemic of racism that has always caused our society to be sick. However, the loss of George Floyd is highlighting just how disease-stricken we continue to be. We must take steps to name, address, dismantle, change, reconstruct, and heal.
These two pandemics
will not be ignored!
Leaders, please hit the pause button on all the conversations you believe were most important five months ago and reassess what healthy dialogue should look like now. What needs to be named in your organization? What needs to be eradicated from the workforce? What needs to be addressed in your own form of leadership? Ask yourself, are these conversations I’m still having the most important?
These are individual questions, but they also require a collective response. It is everyone’s responsibility to do this work, but it cannot be done alone. The time is now to perceive and receive what must be seen and heard.
Humor can be the best medicine! I have seen the memes that joke about people returning 2020 and getting their money back, or when time travel becomes available, always skip 2020. I am beginning to wonder, though, if we do not start talking about the most important things, the dynamics of 2020 may new leave.
What conversations do you need to be in now?
Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash
Here are the top 10 things I heard or read on Twitter this last week that made me chuckle!
#10. We picked a bad time to stop listening to scientists.
#9. I guess if I want to sell my new book, I should print it on toilet paper.
#8. The World Health Organization has announced that dogs cannot contract Covid-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.
#7. My daughter’s college has closed for the rest of the month. My son wants his school to close too. Ya’ll…we home school.
#6. Going to be very depressing when in two weeks, every website is filled with essays with headlines like “Binge-Watching in the Age of Corona virus” and “The Radical Feminism of Social Distancing” and “What Quarantine Taught Me About Vulnerability and Self-Care”
#5. A tip for professors who may be moving to online classes: feature your pets & kids prominently especially if they are doing dumb things. Don’t stop the lecture when your husband yells MOTHA#*?$A in the background cuz he dropped his drink.
#4. Are we supposed to eat the toilet paper, or…?
#3. TV series The Office and if there was a Corona virus episode – Dwight acts completely normal and claims genetic immunity, Angela wears a hazmat suit, Kevin says that he’s had it for weeks and feels fine, and Creed is somehow Patient Zero.
#2. Since we’re all not going anywhere… who should I follow?
And #1. If your dog stretches and you don’t say, “OH BIG STRETCH” every single time, then you are a psychopath and I don’t want to know you!
In the midst of the stress and anxiety, let's not forget to look for joy as humor is good for the soul and we only have each other.
Stay safe my friends!
Photo by Isabel Vittrup-Pallier on Unsplash
Carrie Arnold, PhD, MCC, BCC
In no particular order: Author | Dog mom to Moose | Speaker | Reader Mom to human offspring Wife | Lover of Learning Leadership coach & consultant, The Willow Group | Fellow, Institute for Social Innovation | Program Director for Evidence-Based Coaching at Fielding Graduate University