How are you feeling?
During times of change and transition, it’s normal and okay to feel… well, anything!
How we choose to feel and react determines our path forward, and there are a wide variety of feelings being felt right now – sometimes shifting by the hour as new information becomes available.
This is such an interesting time in our world right now. We are all experiencing the same global pandemic, yet this wide range of reactions is also contributing to a wide variety of the circumstances being experienced. Some of you reading this have secure jobs and roles where you are enthusiastically pivoting to the virtual world, while others have just been fired, furloughed or are anxiously awaiting the anticipated news. Some of you are excited to be finalists in job searches while others were told today that the searches are being cancelled – indefinitely. Some of you have decided to close your organizations and businesses, and others are collaborating to pivot, deliver on your mission in new ways, keep your employees, apply for grants and ask the community for help. Some of you know someone who has passed away from Covid-19, while others may know people who are still congregating. And, some of you are learning how to juggle and balance working and raising children from home while trying to get them set up on their various school platforms (or keep them occupied so they don’t become frequent guests on your Zoom Calls).
As I write this, I’m feeling something I’ve not experienced before.
Over the past 4 years writing these Happy Friday emails, I’ve smiled every time you’ve told me it was exactly what you needed to hear. Leaders from around the globe have shared how they print out my tips and put them into practice, or how the exercises I suggested were helpful in overcoming a challenge. However, this week is the first time I feel like I don’t know for sure what you, the reader are really needing right now.
Like always, as I’ve spoken with leaders and coached the current leadership cohort, I’ve identified some common patterns and dynamics and thus can create strategies aimed to help you (see below). What I’m observing gives me hope and is full of the possibilities I’m seeing – I share them here to bring them further into the light of day. I invite you to share your observations!
PATTERNS of POSSIBILITY:
- People are sharing their creativity and their unique voices with the aim to inform, inspire, connect, honor, empower, lighten, and more! We are trying new things, stepping into vulnerability, breaking through nervousness, resistance and imposter syndrome. The emphasis is on impact (helping others), rather than perfection. We feel connected – more than ever before.
- We’re seeing co-workers and media personalities in “real-life” (sometimes with unplanned appearances by pets and family members) – without some of the pre-pandemic superficial trappings that defined professionalism (hair, make-up, lighting, photoshop, graphics, etc.). The emphasis is on impact (seeing each other’s true value), rather than perfection. We feel connected – more than ever before.
- Non-profit boards, staff, artistic/program personnel and volunteers are coming together to figure out how to make things work, rather than giving up. They are communicating with stakeholders even when the path forward isn’t fully known. The emphasis is on impact (commitment to creating new ways to deliver their mission to the communities they serve), rather than perfection. We feel connected – more than ever before.
- Heart-centered, possibility-based leadership is being revealed and valued. Whether leading a household or an entire state, we are listening to and appreciating those who choose to “show up” with love, care, compassion, transparency, and respect that we can “handle” the truth. The emphasis is on impact (helping others), rather than being viewed as knowing all the answers. We feel connected – more than ever before.
Strategies for Times of Change
(pulled from my experiences as a professional Interim and my blog 10 Post-Firing Actions for Amazing Leaders)
Make This Period of Change the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You!
In a nutshell, by choosing to do so.
Here are some ideas – please take what you need, disregard what you don’t – and let me know what most resonates with you!
- Invest Time in Self-Care. Now more than ever, we need our mind and body strong and healthy. Savor this time of transition. Restore and refuel.
- Stay in the Present Moment. Be mindful not to create self-imposed thought loops of all the negative “what if’s…?”. Instead, create a practice of actively observing what is physically present around you right now, and noticing what you love about this moment, and why.
- Go Easy on Yourself. You are in a moment of transition. It’s a real thing. Don’t be surprised if each day brings new emotions and questions of “am I enough?” or “should I be doing more?”. Not having a clear path forward compounds this self-questioning (see #4). Comparing ourselves to (vs being inspired by) people doing amazing posts on social media doesn’t help. Instead, consider your views on productivity (see #6), create a practice of noticing what brings you joy, and repeat that frequently!
- Create Your Own Path Forward. During times of transition where the path is unclear, try creating and “naming” time periods by phases of your intention or focus. A Phase 1 could be “creating my foundation” (focusing on establishing new routines, cleaning and organizing a home office, updating a resume), Phase 2 could be “communicating & connecting” (see #7). This process of phased focus also works well for organizations. And, usually by the time we’re in our Phase 2, the next Phase will reveal itself.
- Take Charge. (Only) choose the embodied actions (thoughts, feelings, language and actions) that create the possibility for you to live the dream scenario you’ve always wished for.
- (re)Connect with Your Identity and True Value (Impact). In times of change, transition and uncertainty, the more we know about ourselves: how we solve problems, what our superpowers are for helping others, what success and productivity really mean to us, what brings us joy, along with observing (without judgment) when we are triggered, where our fear comes from, etc. – the better. [This is also why I created The Career (Life!) Breakthrough AcademyTM]
- Communicate with the Intention to Connect & Support. Now more than ever your voice matters. How is this an exciting time? What possibilities do you see? What do you observe that may be helpful to others? What challenges are you facing that may help people know they’re not alone? How can you help others? Share your voice in a phone call, a virtual keynote, in a painting, poem or dance, in a text, blog or social media post. Try something you’ve never done before… so that the very person who may benefit from your voice, can find you! (**I tried this recently with my sister – HERE’s a link to a recording of our conversation about possibilities.)
Is this resonating with you? Now more than ever I’m here to support you:
- Check out my BLOG archives for tips and tools that have relevance right now.
- Join my e-community HERE and receive a free e-Guide
- Follow me on social media (links below) for video messages and weekly content.
- And, if you’d like to stop waiting to “see what happens” and proactively use this time to look inward and connect with your true value and learn how to leverage and monetize your superpowers, I’m accepting registrations into The “Path Forward” Coaching Package until APRIL 10th [Includes The Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy PLUS 1 month in the Mindful Leadership Cohort]
- The first step is to schedule a free Discovery Call where we can talk about your specific situation.
Please let me know how you are doing, and how you’re navigating this time of change.
To your health!
Kathryn R Martin,
“Next Chapter” Coach
Creator of The Career (Life!) Breakthrough Academy
Leadership Transition Strategist & Professional Interim CEO
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