In a faraway village, a young man was about to become an adult. Following tradition, he went to the local medicine man, as the last step into adulthood.
The medicine man greeted him warmly and said:
“Today, as you become an adult, you will soon recognize that two animals reside in you. The first is the dog. It represents love, joy, positivity, happiness, kindness and faith. The second is the wolf. It represents hate, pain, negativity, cruelty and fear. Both the dog and the wolf will live inside you and they are fighting each other.”
The young man, puzzled and frightened ask:
“Who is going to win?”
The medicine took the young man’s hands and said, “Whichever one you choose to feed.”
Surrounded by the trying times and uncertainty that corona brings, we can still choose how we respond to situations around us. Over the past several weeks, I have seen aggressive conversations flair up when someone stands too close to another in the supermarket and I have witnessed sudden and unexpected expressions of kindness and generosity.
Let us be conscious and thoughtful about which animal we feed, the dog or the wolf, especially in these times.
Stay healthy and safe, keep the distance and enjoy your April news2use.
“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”
Remember the oxygen mask rule.
This concept is for leadership teams that want to play at their best.
It is highly relevant for us, as individuals, in corona times as well.
Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Find time for yourself to come down from another unusual day, make time for a walk if that is allowed in your area or simply stake out a small part of the day that you can call your own. See that those around you use the oxygen mask rule as well.
For You & Your Team
The requirements of physical social distancing mean that nearly everyone has transitioned to virtual or distributed team working. Here are eight ways to improve your virtual communication, collaboration and meeting outcomes:
- Start virtual meetings with a sharing round. This gets everyone involved in the beginning and you can take people’s temperature, emotionally at least.
- An agenda matters more than ever before. After your sharing round, share or create together the meeting objectives, the topics, expected actions to be taken (discussion, problem solving, and decisions to be made) and the topic owners.
- Mix and match the team dynamics. The team need not always come together as a complete team, create different partner or trio groups to work and exchange on topics. The changing dynamics help make conversations more personal and energizing.
- Alternate between video and teleconferences. Bandwidth is becoming a challenge for many organizations and everyone has an occasional “bad hair day”, so it is ok for teams to connect sometimes by phone and other times by video. Do not let it all move to phone because visual connections are important for social cohesiveness.
- Utilize shorter timeframes and remember people still need breaks. This week I was part of three-hour virtual executive team off-site that was originally planned for two days in face-to-face time. This team managed the virtual off-site well, in part by recognizing it is not necessary to use the same amount of time in the virtual zone. Remember to build in breaks about every 90 minutes.
- Use Double Up communication. If you share something important during a meeting, follow it up with a written note. If it is important written communication, follow up with a tele or video conference, at the very least, a phone call.
- Address hot topics or emotional issues in the lowest group size needed to address the topic or situation in question.
- “How am I supporting you, virtually?” is a helpful question to include in your team meetings and weekly one-on-one sessions you lead.
Do not expect the same experiences, collaborative climate and results you get in your face-to-face meetings. Recognize it is about progress, not perfection. Hold a short feedback round at the end of every virtual meeting, and look for ideas that lead to improvements for your future meetings.
For You, Your Team & Your Business
Leadership in times of crisis. Here is a learning lesson.
I was at the Global Leadership Forum in Yokohama, Japan many years ago. During a small group session, Mark Slade, then President of DHL Global Forwarding in Japan, shared his experiences in the aftermath of Fukushima.
After the earthquake and the Tsunami that followed, many expatriates headed home to their respective countries. Mark said he could not leave his colleagues, staff and customers behind. He stayed on and together he and his DHL staff did everything they could to make life better for those that were suffering. They did everything in their power to ship goods to those in need and those in business, even when it did not make the best sense, from a business perspective. As I remember Mark’s experience, he described it as “beyond business” and simply the right thing to do. “Business wasn’t on our minds at that point”, he said, “It was more about what we felt was the right thing to do.”
There were unexpected consequences of DHL’s “beyond business” efforts in Japan. In the months and years that followed, their business increased to higher levels. People and businesses came forward to do business with Mark and his DHL team, in part because people remembered that they stayed and served when others left.
I never forgot Mark’s message in Yokohama. Perhaps there is an insight for each of us in his actions, something that is beyond business.
People, Places & Technology
Telehealth. Digital health initiatives. Helping people, teams and organizations to master their virtual landscapes is core business for Christian Milaster at Ingenium Digital Health. He has been helping people, supporting processes and building telehealth programs that thrive in the virtual space for over a decade.
We worked together in a global best practice exchange for over a year and I am very impressed with his people and technical skills. He previously worked with IBM and the Mayo Clinic before starting Ingenium Digital Health. If digital health or virtual collaboration is important to your company’s success, reach out to Christian and his team.
Thought for the Day
“Worry is like a rocking chair.
It gives you something to do
but never gets you anywhere.”