Social Distancing, Business Shifts, BIG CHANGES! Knowing ourselves & others to THRIVE, Ep.27

The coronavirus has caused businesses, non-profits, entrepreneurs, schools and hospitals, pretty much every segment of business to shift norms, ways of working and doing business. How we respond as organizations depends on how we as individuals unite, each with our unique combination of behaviors and attitudes.  In this episode, we’ll explore what we know about behaviors and attitudes and how understanding these human traits helps us in times of dramatic change and how an organizational effort to grow our understanding of ourselves and others is a timely investment.

There are many ways organizations are shifting.  The themes include

1. Digital Transformation (Building new digital tools and services)
2. Changing Delivery Modes (Schools, Restaurants, Health Clubs, Human Services)
3. Ramping Down (Manufacturers, Hospitals, Entrepreneurs)
4. Forced Closures (For compliance, for the safety of staff and those we serve)
5. Forced Continuance Planning (Maintaining business as usual)
6. Telework (The new reality for a significant percentage of our population)

How do these shifts affect us, each with our own natural behaviors and attitudes toward new things, our environment, learning and others?    

Limited time, high risks, countless unknowns,  little to no budget, a development cycle nightmare.  The model of try-fail-iterate-try again can teach us much.  Failure, the kind that pushes us to new answers, the act of building, getting feedback and making changes to products and services without high investment, while incredibly promising, pushes us to understand ourselves and others at a time when the stakes are high. 

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High “S”s Know How to Climb

Climbing is an act of steady performance. Relax, don’t get too eager and make mistakes. One step, another, and another. Focus and be patient. If you’re a High “C”, you like, no…NEED…clearly defined goals to take action. You probably never use the phrase, “Let’s just jump right in and see what happens.” Sound like you? And, having a support team you trust is important to you. Trust is earned and you need to see that others offer stability. If they cause chaos, they’re not getting connected to your safety rope anytime soon. Regularity in your day and projects make you a driven player. You will reach the mountain top, but on your own time, you know rushing is dangerous. Causing unexpected landslides is REALLY dangerous and you do everything to avoid that.

You’re known for your persistence. You can be a great source of encouragement to your team when a storm starts to build. Helping everyone stay together and on course is your strength. That trait can also be a HUGE source of stress. That storm brewing shifts course and heads in your direction, quickly. In this moment, a confrontation starts to develop. One of the team members wants to change plans, NOW. You don’t have all the information you need so you attempt to slow the pace of the decision. You’re being asked to be flexible and impulsive and you start to shut down. The team starts to steamroll over you and before you know it, they move out. What you’re feeling right now is anything but “business as usual.”

Consistency, you believe in it, practice it, trust it. You bring awareness to the team that in times of change and turmoil, consistent actions and norms lead to success. You start to clear chaos on the team and even though the path has changed, you make sure to bring regulation back to your efforts. Just because the course has changed doesn’t mean you bury all your proven tactics. Those on your team that love change, embrace it, BRING IT ON themselves, you know they can create amazing new opportunities. But, they seem reckless to you. You can support change and innovation by showcasing how patience can lead to quality. They may ignore you when you try to hide in the background a bit, so learning how to share your insights means letting others know how you think and what your needs are. Likewise, you know bringing others on your adventure means you can reach the top of the highest mountain, no matter what the world throws at you. This means taking your hands out of your pockets once in a while and recognizing the need to sell an idea or thought with passion. It feels uncomfortable, but you know adaptation is not all about others adapting to you. If anyone gets that, you do. By tapping into your persistence, you can gain the trust of many.

When your team needs to climb the HighEST mountain, they need you.

Embrace your High-C Behaviors

High-C’ers unite. That’s right. Your High-C behavior is powerful. Now, I’m not saying you’re better than others. No, well, at least, don’t go around saying that. As a High-C, you probably wouldn’t anyway. Just don’t. The High-C, or High Compliance behavioral trait brings an analytical view to projects, work and organizations. If you’re a High-C, do you find you tend to shift your team from a hurried pace to a slower, more thoughtful, investigatory cadence? Excellent. Your team needs you.

Now, let’s flip the point of view for a moment. As a High-C, have you experienced intolerance from the aggressive movers and shakers in your group? You know who I’m taking about, those folks that are ready to jump into a big pool of Hi-C without even knowing if it’s cherry or watermelon flavored. Unbelievable. (Notice what I did there with the Hi-C reference?) Your reflective natural tendency provides a ton of “whoa there” before teams makes mistakes. BUT, you can also be viewed as the person holding back progress if you’re not careful.

Let’s talk about those sellers in work group. These are the folks who LOVE to tell stories and consider their tales as evidence. As a High-C, you’re not as easily swayed. You need proof. Just because someone says it is, doesn’t mean you’re on board. And, you don’t believe others should buy into things as quickly either. But see, here’s the thing. It’s time to take a deep breath. Those story telling colleagues are passionate and exciting. They can sell. In fact, that’s their job. But, where do they get their stories? Within your organization, they count on you as a High-C to generate the evidence that whatever your organization does works. They’ll try to sell without that evidence, but you can fix that. Provide them data, help them shape their stories and then, let them go forth and inspire. Meanwhile, you can continue your work, more behind the scenes, doing what you do.

As a High-C, conflict is not you’re friend. You may even find your top repeated phrases are “Yeah, well…” with a hint of haughty derision. Sorry, I know that hurts. Don’t take is personally. Take is perspectively. You’re arms crossed, straight faced nature makes you intimidating to others at times. Understanding how to adapt is just as important for you as it for others. Remember, you provided the evidence others needed to do their work. They’ll love you for that. But, this doesn’t mean they have to be making all the adaptations so you feel valued. Watch your body language. And, in sessions where creativity is the focus, let the group explore and chime in with ways you can add value to the ideation process. Putting the breaks on imagination sessions will make you an unwelcome partner. In this case, think of phrases such as “I can give you some data on that idea to help showcase its impact.” This shows you can support an idea, even if it’s far fetched in your mind. Remembers, as you aim to provide the data, if you don’t find evidence, let them know how an idea could be modified. Be ready for a situation where the team just simply wants to try something new. In that case, play your supportive role and help collect NEW data.

Embrace your High-C and help your team achieve.