Spring Inventory

One of the consequences of working remotely during the pandemic is that some of your management skills may have eroded. Although you may have picked up some new ones, some of your old standbys may have atrophied.

Spring is the time for renewal, so why not use this time to take inventory of your skills? Everyone is different, so here are some questions to start your thought process. Chances are that these ideas will generate others that are unique to you.

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Wellbeing and Engagement

Gallup recently published an article, “The Wellbeing Engagement Paradox of 2020.” They report that in contrast to more normal times, the somewhat inverse relationship between wellbeing and engagement diverged in 2020, creating new challenges for leaders.

Not surprisingly, many Americans view their wellbeing as more distressful. The myriad pandemic related personal issues from isolation to stress to worry, as well as external factors, such as social justice issues all contributed.

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Do I Have Your Attention?

Good leaders know the importance of being present and listening well. Over the past year, these attributes have been further challenged since we haven’t been face-to-face. And the big change came when most conversations and meetings morphed into video.

We talk of “Zoom fatigue” as a general term applying to all video encounters. This is a real syndrome and it has multiple facets. For one thing, we’re staring at others on screen, which is looking at pixels which becoming tiring. It’s also not “normal” to be looking at everyone – and yourself – all the time, which would not be happening if we were in person or on a teleconference.

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One Year Out

A year ago today, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the head of the World Health Organization. Since then, there have been both losses and successes that we have faced in all areas of our lives.

I’m sure you’ve been thinking back over the year from different perspectives. For our focus here, I invite you to reflect on how your leadership has evolved in the face of the uncertainties the pandemic presented. Here are some questions for reflection:

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A Moment of Joy

On Tuesday we received the great news that vaccine production was going to be accelerated and that most adults in the U.S. are likely to receive their vaccines by the end of May. It was a moment of hope, one that was shared excitedly among family, friends, and colleagues.

The next day, I learned about an extraordinary man, Gurdeep Pandher, a resident of Whitehorse, Yukon. Pandher received his first dose of the vaccine on Monday and celebrated by doing a traditional Punjabi Bhangra dance on a frozen lake.

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2 Down, 10 to Go

Well, I hate to give you the news, but we are rounding the corner to complete the first two months of 2021. Is it my imagination, or has this arrived sooner than expected?

Time is obviously relative and depends on everything from your workload to family responsibilities to personal projects. The more you juggle, the more challenging it can be.

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Another Meeting?

Do you ever feel like you just can’t take one more meeting? People are becoming increasingly numb to them, especially those who are working remotely. The remote workplace has spawned more meetings, many of which are valuable check-ins for teams, while others are unnecessary wastes.

A lot of meetings were created in the early days of the pandemic for specific reasons tied to connecting with co-workers. Thoughtfully consider the relevance of these gatherings. The original purpose may have run its course and it’s time to “retire” it. Or, it may be time to repurpose, shorten, or reduce the frequency.

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Listening Is Hard Work!

There’s no way around this: you need to work harder at listening when you’re not face to face. Generally, your people will tell you everything is fine….even when it isn’t.

For example, you may check in about progress towards a particular deadline and people will say that they’re on top of it.

Maybe they are. But maybe not.

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Unpacking Remote Management

Many of us are a good ten months into managing a remote workforce. Although some have done well and even flourished, others are stumbling. This can be frustrating, especially if you felt successful when you were together with your team in the office.

Work will eventually return to an office environment, but it will not likely ever revert to the way it was a year ago. The managerial skills that make you brilliant in the office are different than the ones you need to succeed remotely. And whether you return to a conventional office environment or stay remote, the skills to successfully manage remotely will serve you well.

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