Creating stability, recognizing opportunities
The growing distance in the home office, the lack of personal exchange - sometimes collaboration is just massively difficult. An ideal field to relapse into the lone warrior mentality or silo thinking. Difficult conditions and crises always give us a gift: They are the impulse for solidarity and a new WE. We just have to take the chance!
In times of crisis, it is more important than ever to actively involve people in assessing the situation and looking for a solution. Because this is exactly where the potential lies, which helps us in difficult times to create stability, to recognize and seize opportunities or simply to ensure survival.
Challenge or Threat?
The extent to which the situation is perceived as a threat or challenge has a major influence on mental and physical health and thus also on performance. psychologyprofessor Lantermann describes five factors that reinforce the perception of threat:
- Uncertainty of action: I am powerless, I cannot do anything.
- Knowledge uncertainty: I do not understand what is happening.
- Uncertainty about the future: I don't know how things will go on.
- Consequences uncertainty: I cannot assess what the consequences of the situation or my possible actions will be.
- Insecurity of support: I feel left out or left alone.
Open up new scope
Feeling powerless or at the mercy has something to do with your perspective. The exchange with others and listening to their perspective on our own situation opens up new scope for us. There can also be room for moaning. Talking about fears and hearing how others are doing is good for mental hygiene and strengthens cohesion. But then you need to look ahead.
To experience that one's own contributions are viewed as valuable promotes trust in one's own resources. The uncertainty of action decreases, the self-efficacy increases and that means that the situation can be perceived as a challenge.
Create opportunities for encounters
A future café also works in times of physical distance. Here, participants exchange ideas across teams and departments in changing small groups via video conference on a given question. This creates a feeling of connection as well as belonging and a common understanding of a situation.
Managers are also in demand. It is now up to them to promote the WE feeling in everyday life. Even if this process causes significantly more effort in the current situation, it is worthwhile. Because it offers the chance to use valuable thinking and idea capacity and to make better decisions based on shared information.
3 tips for managers to use crises sensibly
If adjustments or complete changes to a decision are necessary, this is easier to convey because the employees are involved in the process and there is transparency. In order to manage all of this, it is important that managers take good care of themselves and look at what is really important in leadership now. Then ...
1. managers become collaboration conductors,
who ensures variety in meetings and uses structures that promote exchange and at the same time increase self-efficacy. Methods known as Liberating Structures are particularly suitable for this. They make those involved feel included and involved. This not only enables new ideas or strategies to be developed quickly, they also promote awareness of one's own ability to act. The methods were compiled by Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz. They are easy to learn, just a little practice.
2. offer managers psychological security,
and thus promote the belief that one will not be punished or exposed for raising ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes. Communication is a complex matter. We only send a small part of our message through words. Most of the information flows through voice and body language. Depending on which communication channel we choose, a larger or smaller part of the information is lost. This can easily lead to misunderstandings. It does Senseto become aware of the pitfalls of remote communication and to advocate being extra vigilant. The feeling of being ignored is often worse than being criticized.
3. promote information flow and transparency for executives,
because they communicate more instead of less, even if it takes time and effort. Sharing knowledge, asking questions and passing on information - this is how they encourage the active exchange of as many participants as possible. It's good when, as with Slack, comments can be made quickly and directly. Transparency can be created by introducing a team Kanban board for task management. Online tools for this are for example Trello or Factro.
I can influence!
Let's not let physical distance become social distance. The fact that we can talk to each other - in whatever way - makes us human. Collaborative conversation partners are characterized by the fact that they actively ask others about their opinions and ideas, listen carefully and actively share their knowledge.
An appreciative and result-oriented exchange. With regard to the assessment of the situation, the further development and the consequences, we receive different perspectives and new answers through collaboration.
“I can exert influence and I will somehow manage it” - that is the fuel to accept change as a challenge. We produce it in exchange with others. More than ever, the current motto must be: Do it together!
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