The Real Time Summit
When it comes to moments of crisis, such as the one we currently find ourselves in, it’s important that we remember to encourage others as best we can. This can be hard, especially when we have so much vying for our attention and so many reasons to focus only on ourselves.
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak about this idea on the Real Time Summit. Though this online event wasn’t meant to take place during a global pandemic, the event’s organizer, Clark Campbell, did a fantastic job of pivoting and delivering an incredibly timely and impactful webinar.
Overall, I was greatly encouraged by each of the speakers and the ways in which they have handled the present circumstances with their businesses. I thought it would be helpful to share some of the main takeaways from my own speech and the practical ways in which we can prioritize encouragement during this time.
Encouraging Your People
As leaders, we are the ones responsible for easing the tension that many people feel due to upheaval in both their personal and professional lives during this COVID-19 crisis. But how are we to handle such an unprecedented situation when we undoubtedly feel the same pressure as our employees? I believe there are four things we can do to maintain a healthy culture and encourage our teams, even from a distance.
Make It Personal
You don’t have to be in-person to make it personal. Never discount the value of reaching out to your team, whether that’s through a text, a call, or a Zoom conference. With technology as advanced as it is today, it really isn’t all that difficult to connect with others. The problem many of us are having isn’t that we don’t have access to this technology, it’s that we aren’t used to using it so extensively. If this is the case, try making it a priority to reach out to a certain number of people personally every day or to schedule a certain number of group meetings a week. The way we handle this time with our team will set a powerful precedent for the future. Let’s take time now to be intentional about making it personal.
Make It Fun
Amidst all of the stress that so many of us are feeling right now, it’s important that we don’t forget to have some fun. Fun has always been a big part of our culture at Elevate and one of our goals in transitioning online has been to keep that theme intact. One way we have been able to do that is by investing 5-10 minutes of a virtual meeting to do something fun. Whether it’s a funny question or a quick game, these short moments of enjoyment can alter the attitude and tone of the rest of your meeting.
Make It Intentional
I’ve talked about the importance of intentionality in our interactions with others, but we should also be intentional in the way we do our work. With a drastic change in our work environment – which for many of us means working from home – we should be aware of distractions and be resolute in accomplishing our goals.
Do The Work
When it comes to actually moving forward as a business, we have to make sure that people are doing the work required of them. For the first few weeks of this “new normal” this might require us as leaders to walk them through their tasks a little more than we had to do in the past. Whatever it may be, let’s have grace with ourselves and our teams and encourage them to be as productive as possible in this time.
Encouraging our teams is a great thing to do, but moments like this require a little more than that. I believe we have a unique opportunity to encourage the people around us as well.
Start with gratitude
From doctors to nurses to teachers I am finding that there are so many people in our world to be grateful for in this current moment in history. When I begin to feel bad about myself or my current situation I try to remind myself that there are so many reasons to be thankful, even in the present circumstances. In the last few weeks I have been encouraging my team in this too, starting most of our meetings with a moment to reflect on what we are currently grateful for. It can be tempting to get caught up in all the bad things happening around us, but when we flip the narrative we can inspire and encourage more people than we would think possible.
With so many people worried about what the future will look like, now is a great time to be as generous as possible with your business. At Elevate, we are giving away a lot of our resources for free or at a significantly reduced price. It’s important to understand that you gobble up emotional market share when you’re very generous in times of need. Figure out how you can best use this time to help the people around you and to set yourself (and your business) up for success on the other side of this crisis.
Converting enthusiasm through a screen is really tough – there are so many technical things that get in the way. Let encouragement be your primary posture toward your team and anyone else you come in contact with in the coming weeks. It won’t be easy and it definitely won’t look like our usual form of encouragement, but if we understand the stakes and our role in this moment in history, we can change the world around us for the better.