Coaching and Supporting in Our New World
I have offered myself as a resource for clients and others as we all generate ourselves in this new COVID-19 reality. I wanted to share some thoughts and things I have discovered and seen as I listen and coach people who feel stuck. The intention is that these insights contribute to your power, ability, and freedom to be resilient in our new world.
- I am not a picture of the “perfect” pandemic participant. I am beset by mood swings and uncertainty. I find myself hoping it is all just a dream and I will awaken and be back in my life as it was two months ago. I find myself at times frantic to book work, change things, and make something happen. I am discovering that the more I can be with whatever I am feeling and thinking, the more at peace I am. What I mean is that the more I can hang out with my thoughts and feelings and not resist them, not react to them, and that I can just let them be…these thoughts, feelings, and mood swings then can let me be. What ensues is more freedom to act and more peace of mind.
- When coaching and supporting people, I have found a critical first step is to get into their world. What do I mean by this? You need to find out what they are dealing with. Work is just one of a series of situations and circumstances that are critical to them. It is important as a real example to hear that their mother-in-law is a nurse who is mandated to the ICU where she is inexperienced and frightened. It is important to hear about the guilt some have that they are working while others are not. You need to hear a husband’s fear of hugging his wife because she has been with people all day while he was by himself with his computer. You need to listen and give their world existence and let them know you are present to their world.
- Realize that one of the traps people often fall into is that they have yet to “arrive” to the pandemic. What I mean is they are wishing it was different, resisting the way it is, and fighting our new realities. Until they can get and be with the new reality and uncertainties we are dealing with on a daily basis, they will be immobilized by fear and anxiety. After a month of my resistance, when I got that we are all are in a new reality with new rules and new possibilities, I felt my body shift and relax, and I “arrived.”
- Here’s a metaphor I use to invite people to get into reality: “Two months ago, we were standing on dry land. Now we find ourselves up to our necks in cold water.” This is the new reality for everybody. Until you understand that you are up to your neck in cold water with no prospects of getting out of it any time soon, you will have little power in dealing with it. Once you arrive, possibility and opportunity arise. However, until you get the change of paradigm and reality, you are left with resistance, anxiety, and passivity.
- Being on dry land has opportunities and possibilities, but so does being in water up to your neck. They are different. Once you have arrived to the pandemic, then you can begin to explore what is possible given the circumstances we are all dealing with.
- I have been so inspired by my clients, friends, and acquaintances who are present and here in the pandemic.One got married virtually with no rings and virtual participants in Brazil, from a park, no less. Another pivoted from making displays for Walmart to working with fabric and making face shields—this is providing jobs in Chicago. Another has made mental health professionals available at no charge to her employees. One is delivering meals to seniors. A Trader Joe’s employee told me they are getting people to smile and that given their masks, he knows they are smiling by reading their eyes. Companies are going to incredible lengths to support their employees and customers. I get glimpses at the heroism we are all displaying during this time, and that is uplifting and worth living into.
So these are some thoughts and things I have discovered in this adventure. I look forward to hearing what you are discovering.
Keep causing and creating,
From growing up in his family’s boating business to founding his company CMI, Bruce Hodes has dedicated himself to helping companies grow by developing executive leadership teams, business leaders and executives into powerful performers. Hodes’ adaptable Breakthrough Strategic Business Planning methodology has been specifically designed for small to mid-sized companies and is especially valuable for family company challenges. In February 2012, Hodes published his first book, “Front Line Heroes: How to Battle the Business Tsunami by Developing Performance Oriented Cultures.” In addition to a background in psychotherapy, Hodes has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. For more information, e-mail: email@example.com; call 800.883.7995; or visit: www.cmiteamwork.com