By Monica Ferrario – Country Manager Switzerland – Head Hunter & Business Coach – Kilpatrick Executive Search
In this difficult context, it is hard to think about prioritizing our skills and their development. But it is now, more than ever, that the role of the coach is fundamental as they try to stimulate the coachees in gaining a greater sense of responsibility with respect to events.
The not knowing for how long the pandemic will continue its course, together with the concerns about the financial markets and the economy of the upcoming months does not reassure us at all. It is indeed an unprecedented period that forces us to leverage the ability to calm our mind but, above all, the heart and emotions it brings us.
So, what are these behaviors to “train” and embrace that could result useful in moments of “temporary”, sudden and unexpected difficulty like Covid-19?
In this framework I would like to highlight the importance of the role of coaches, not only in traditional business contexts, but also in support of those who are at the forefront in dealing with emergencies (health or civil protection), people whose sense of anxiety and fear of uncertainty increases (the elderly) or in whom the sense of risk is not perceived. This is not about a helping relationship but about a path that pushes people to adopt specific behaviors useful for a single goal, that is, the containment of contagion.
That’s how, for example, the not-obligation to be present at work arrives in the smart working format. Big surprise for some professional contexts in Italy, where resistance and difficulties have emerged. Since there are no alternatives, we are all subjected to new ways of thinking: slowing down and managing complex situations with different rhythms than usual.
The anxiety and uncertainty that derive from it, amplified also by the constant updated and sometimes confusing information, bring people a lot of concerns. This can also put us in the direction of redefining ways of thinking and acting within this new framework.
In addition, we should consider new and creative solutions to manage customers/suppliers, who are in the same conditions, discover that the production of some service companies does not change and that relationships between colleagues intensify further.
The most significant impact is that, there is an “automatic” behavior that is often underestimated or that we don’t even think about and it’s that “we all move together towards a single big goal” (in this case preservation of our health). It would be fantastic when in retrospective we identify which were the behaviors adopted to achieve this great common goal.
Indeed, since we are all involved, we find ourselves having common attitudes, behaviors and actions (that then generate new skills) useful in facing complex challenges that threaten to be around indefinitely like this current crisis. So, let’s stop and “train” some of these skills:
• Collective education as in respect for new social rules while also respecting the community;
• Personal security in both professional and personal settings. Also understood as the ability to support the group of which you are part, thanks to the sense of personal security that you can manage and transfer;
• Personal responsibility towards family and affections (beyond the professional responsibility) which aims to keep the focus on the objectives. Adapting to different ways of working to achieve challenging goals;
• Sense of belonging to the group from work, to the nation we represent, to the family with whom we share this moment and to the social group in which we are involved;
• Agile leadership as in the ability to manage a team of remote collaborators or manage one’s own work remotely while influencing decisions;
• Agile attitude as in the ability to be ready for change;
• Flexibility as in welcoming and embracing the new as an opportunity for change towards new possibilities for personal growth;
• Orientation towards innovation means slowing down to try to rethink ourselves and the purpose of our actions. Producing new ideas to support our professionalism is fundamental;
• Digital learning is the ability acquire new knowledge and new skills available online. Now it is possible, and it helps us to fill the time available.
• Emotional agility understood as the ability to overcome life’s difficulties with self-acceptance, lucidity and an open mind.
Even though many of the highlighted skills and behaviors are known, now the sense of urgency and necessity in applying and training them in all contexts, social, personal and professional, have taken a leading role.
Never before has our emotional intelligence gone hand in hand with rational intelligence in compliance with social rules.