Here’s How You Can Embrace This New Reality

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Uncertainty can bring out the crazy. (Fist fights over TP?) In all honesty, I’ve spent the past week stifling eye rolls and trying to maintain some humor.  My team email last week included the advice “Please refrain from licking your tray table or french-kissing seniors…” 

I see now that I was acting from a place of denial – stage two of accepting change. I’m swinging between stages 5 and 6 now.  I’m challenging myself to be a better leader for my team and thought leader for my “Friends of Factor 8” family.

I’m inspired by my #GirlsClub crew exchanging ideas on managing their remote team. Touched by my neighbor offering me taco shells, and strangely excited about trading some pesto for 4 rolls of TP with my bestie. This is us coming together. These chances are all around us and I get a little choked up thinking of the opportunity to be our best selves.  

(I’m no saint, I still snuck a dirty look at the man leaving Sprouts with 3 crates of eggs.) 

These 7 stages of change helped me and I hope it helps you too. I’ve summarized each stage + some notes on what leaders can do. 

1 & 2: Shock and Denial 

This lasts longer for some than others. People are unproductive & unsure. Don’t fight it.  Don’t judge. Help by booking a video meeting & being a listening ear. Different folks want to discuss different aspects of our situation.  Share your situation and strategy.

3: Frustration, Anger, or Self Doubt 

When we see the reality and the downsides, we get pissed or even hopeless.  Worst-case scenarios cross our minds like missing numbers, losing jobs, Global mayhem. Our job here is to give people time and keep communication channels open and offer encouragement.

4 & 5: Acceptance and Experimentation

It finally sinks in and I may not be happy about it, but I’ve quit fighting it.  “It is what is” (That was Monday for me.) In this stage, repeat and reinforce your goals and strategy and build buy-in. Invite compromise and encourage the team to be part of building the solution. Celebrate wins and keep feedback coming. 

6 & 7:  Acceptance + Exploration 

Here we’re searching for the why (or even the silver linings) and incorporating new attitudes and habits into everyday life. Confidence grows. Most of us are a few weeks out from this, but it’s the light at the end of the tunnel.  Help by painting pictures of the positive future (but don’t push your rosey outlook before they’re ready). Use reward and recognition here.

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