In Coming Apart, Falling Together Part 1, I shared my views on just some of the things that were getting in our way since COVID-19 became a reality for many of us in March of 2020. I also gave suggestion on how you/I can keep ourselves together during this changing and challenging time.
This time, I’d like to focus on the art of leadership, both professionally and personally, because many of the conferences and organizations I have been presenting to lately have shared that they have holes that need repair. That’s where you come in. Yes, you!
There is a disparity between communications, understanding and listening. Done well, each is an art and requires leaders to think and work differently than before. The world has changed, we get that. Live and large concerts, conferences, meeting are all but gone until…? Perhaps until a vaccine is available.
Unfortunately, the herd immunity numbers do not add up well for this brutal pandemic as millions would need to die for us to reach safe numbers of infected individuals. And, sadly with more than 200K dead in the U.S. alone we’re not safe yet by any means. And, fall/winter is around the corner as October inches ever closer.
In communications with thousands of participants in the last six months at conferences and organizations, I’ve heard the voices of anger, fear, stress, confusion, denial, hope, sympathy and empathy. Everyone has their own story and your reality belongs to you. There is no denying that we are brought together and pulled apart right now. So, what can leaders do in a family? What can leaders do at work? How do we address concerns for everyone with respect?
Read on to find out what I’ve learned.
As I mentioned above, there is work to be done. Communications, understanding and listening grow business, strengthen relationships and keep a home intact. The art and science is easy, it’s the implementation that proves to be a challenge for some because change is never easy.
It is essential to talk and communicate openly if we’re going to connect with one another. From age 6‐96, folks are looking for answers and we’re in a rare time where we have many that cannot be addressed fully with a solution and a conclusion.
However, the art of communication tells us that beyond having shared meaning and a common language, we need to do that which sometimes eludes us in these busy times. Listening. Listening with intent can grow understanding, strengthen relationships and build a strong foundation that allows for the open sharing of ideas, information and concerns. Families can benefit. Organizations that train leaders to be better listeners (which is not easy) have a powerful tool that can increase retention, productivity, well‐being and more. This can lead to an increase in business.
Less drama at home is essential as well and parents can interchange great listening at work with the same at home. Lower stress, improved moods, greater cooperation, laughter and happiness will often follow when families take the extra time to focus on the difficult task of listening. It requires patients, grit and compassion/empathy when your tank may be running low.
My talks have revealed that CEOs at work and home benefit when they create an environment that is open to discussion, communication and the sharing of information and ideas. The reason is it gives people young and not‐so‐young the feeling of some control during times that feel less in control than ever before.
Will you consider listening better? I know that it’s been a challenge for me and beneficial as well. Take good care my friends!