Now what? It’s time to pause…

The number of Managers accessing on-line learning on the topics of stress management and mindfulness has increased ten-fold*. No surprise really. Covid-19 and the knock-on effects to our working lives has fundamentally changed the role of the Manager. Managing people in a virtual world is the next normal which was neither planned nor chosen.

So, how have you done?

We have all had to adapt swiftly, deal with uncertainty and chaos whilst looking out for our family and friends. And we continue to grapple with demands on our personal and professional lives. We have had to ‘roll up our sleeves’ and deal with an overwhelming set of challenges. Building resilience, developing a growth mind-set and managing teams remotely have become hot topics in the virtual learning space.

What else will Managers need to do in order to thrive over the next 6 to 12 months?

If I suggested that Managers should stop a while, take time out, pause, think and reflect on the last 13 weeks, most might respond with ‘I haven’t got time to check if the kids are completing their school work let alone give myself some time to think’. But, what happens if we don’t?

One thing we know for sure is that the demand for virtual learning has increased three-fold and is expected to continue to rise. And that learning will continue to be important for Managers.

But, here’s the thing, rather than jumping on a ‘learning bandwagon’ why not pause for a moment and ask yourself; what do I need to learn right now and over the next 6 months to make myself even more effective? The answer might surprise you. It might surprise you even more if you were to ask those you manage or interact with every day this same question. Gathering some feedback (and this does not need to be an onerous process) will help you to reflect on what you’ve been doing really well and where you need to improve, it will inform your development plan or goals.

What incisive questions might you ask yourself during your pause?

Here are some ideas:

  • In the period of the pandemic what have I learnt about myself, my colleagues, peers and those I manage?
  • What have I done differently during this period that’s really worked well?
  • What surprised me about myself?
  • Are there any tweaks I need to make to my Management style and/or approach?
  • How can I delegate more and in a way that encourages personal and professional growth in my team?
  • How effective was my communication and how might I need to adapt this as we return to new normal?
  • What do my team need me to do more/less of?

Can you think of any others? What do you do with the feedback? Just as important as asking these questions will be how you make sense of it all to pull out themes and common threads.

But then what? In my next blog we look at how you can use feedback to inform and prioritise your learning whether online or virtual.

If you have any opinions on this piece I would love to hear them, so please do get in touch.

*according to a survey by LinkedIn Learning