The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures have affected our personal and working lives and the ways we use to cope with obstacles and challenges.
It also provides an opportunity for leaders to give employees more control and autonomy, trusting them to manage their own schedules. Managers need to be hands-on in understanding their employees’ strengths, values and motivations. As we embrace home working and experiment with different ways of working, we are calling on all the resilience we can muster to maintain our equilibrium in a difficult situation.
As you would expect our personal strengths have not changed in any real way during lockdown but we may find we are calling on different strengths and building skills as we work in lockdown. For managers it is really important to understand and use team strengths for the best possible outcomes.
Growth and self-awareness are key. The ability to ensure new skills are grounded in best practice and improved upon and to share learnings, making them relevant to others is an increasingly important skill.
Another strength to cultivate is gratitude – slow down, consider the bigger picture around what you want to achieve, your values and what’s important.
In terms of happiness, engagement and strengths use – happiness only slightly down and the same with engagement at work.
Drive will enable leaders to focus their own or team goals keeping them simple, so they that make sense in the current situation and enable forward momentum.
Learning about ourselves
There have been plenty of benefits to lockdown. Family time, taking back time for reflection and development, getting to know neighbours and avoiding the daily commute are some of the ways in which our lives have significantly improved in the last few months.
Many say they are working harder and are more productive as they are taking more breaks from their screen and are getting more exercise outside, which in turn is improving their overall health.
While we have been restricted as to how much time we can spend outside interacting with other people, we have found ways of making the best of a bad thing. Our physical boundaries have been reduced to what we can see from our door – gardens, balconies, or on our daily walks or cycle rides. Being able to watch wildlife has afforded us not just a welcome distraction, but real happiness in rediscovering our innate connection with nature.
10Eighty key learnings from lockdown
- Make time to understand the collective strengths of your team
- Set development goals based on strengths
- Bear team strengths in mind when delegating tasks and creating new project teams
- Ensure performance reviews are frequent and focus on strengths and achievements