We are redefining meetings, gatherings, and connections in 2020 due to the pandemic. Yet, there are some guidelines for connecting that are tried and true, such as: maintaining respect, being curious about other people’s ideas and setting clear goals. However, if we want to connect and collaborate strategically we are going to need more tools.
Last week, I worked with several people to explore how they could collaborate more successfully while working from home. People were expressing frustrations about timing, ability to focus, the best way to connect with colleagues, and how to support each other with all that has changed so rapidly. As I spoke with people it became clear to me that the pandemic has driven a lot of us into a zone of confusion.
As a coach, my goal is to help people work from a place of high energy and high performance. When people use their talents to their best ability they feel energy, they get in a flow, time flies and they consistently reach their goals. It’s an intuitive space. Yet, when people hit these zones of confusion they lose focus, obsess about minutia, try to juggle too many things at once and end their day depleted. How can we work together to avoid this zone of confusion?
One step is to intentionally monitor how you are using your talents; be more self aware. When we are using our talents well we call it “being in the balcony”. Here we can see the goals, be strategic, build relationships, and thrive in our roles. However, if we are under a great deal of stress, like we are right now in a global pandemic, our strengths can easily “go to the basement”. In the basement our strengths are not helping us and/or others.
Check these examples of talents with common balcony and basements.
1.Juggling lots of things at once. Balcony: Have clear prioritization process and know when to stop working on some things. Basement. Take on too many things and don’t complete any tasks.
2.Starting new projects. Balcony: Creative energy for innovation and design process. Basement: Start things but never finish, get frustrated with others for not completing the project.
3.Keep people calm. Balcony: Notice when things are out of balance and work with people to get re-centered. Basement: Walk away from imbalance in the room, avoid conflict, and don’t communicate well.
What’s your Talent? Balcony? Basement?
Let’s call for an Ode to the Balcony. We have all heard stories of people on their balcony during the pandemic. Standing out cheering for health workers, singing or playing instruments on our balconies, and here where I live, every night at 8pm people howl like coyotes. Perhaps, one of the best strategies for successful collaborating during this time is to work on being in our balconies as much as possible.