To bind, to attach, to connect
How to connect with simplicity, clarity and clarify.
Whether we like it or not, our ways of working change. No, not only from the knowledge workers. Are we, all of us, ready to engage in this transformation? Remember before the lockdown? Long days, hours on the road, delayed trains and traffic jams. At work from meeting to meeting. And now in the middle of the pandemic, or lockdown?
What’s it like to take care of the kids together in this day and age? Or is your partner in a meeting all the time and is there actually no together in this story? What is it like for the singles, whose only social contact is their screen? We are all looking forward to the end of this period.
But beware, even in the “New Normal”, as it should be called, there will be a squeeze. Because we cannot go back to the old situation. Determined, almost convulsive, we will be trying to think and act again in the old structures. In the new normal, we start with a euphoria. It’s a euphoria that we get to see each other again. Enjoy going to work and experience the colleagues live again. I would say with almost all of our senses.
Used to back-to-back meetings, this continues offline. In the beginning that is still okay. Fine even. But over time, this will start to chafe. Everything we longed for in the lockdown turns out to be less rosy. Why? Because nothing’s really changed. And that while the expectation was that something would change. This is not noticeable in the beginning. At first, we’re distracted by the other stuff. Things that can and should be done again. But over time this will start to squeeze.
No? Do you remember – maybe even during the first wave – it was nice to be home? No traffic jams. Together. The children around you. With the laptop on your lap on the sofa. And now? How are you now? What is it like not being allowed to leave?
“I miss my co-workers. Even that very annoying colleague, I miss.” Lockdown Quote
Now we cannot leave. But when we are allowed again, what will happen? Then we will probably go to the other side. We are going to do those things that we cannot or are not allowed to do now. We are going to move en masse. We go to a restaurant. Chat with friends and family. Travelling again. But also, just hanging out at the coffee machine or during small meetings, catching up. Not to exchange information, but for social contact. Just to talk and be together.
Because before we get back in balance, we’ve found the balance between small talk and business talk, months have passed. All this as a counterpart to over-scheduling the agendas. Meetings that are back-to-back and we no longer take time for small talk or to relax for a while we walk to the next meeting.
Zoombies: people who have back-to-back online meetings. People sitting in front of the screen all day.
Why are we doing this? Why are we behind our screens all day? Is it the new norm? A new status? In any case, it is an impoverishment of ourselves, this predatory construction that we commit. Impoverishment also within the organization. People with ideas can no longer pitch them in the organization. They cannot put out their feelers. They miss the connection; their organizational sensitivity is dying. All of this brought us fatigue and burnouts. Not for everyone, but for many.
And everyone reacts differently to the current situation, but also to the new normal. There people will show themselves in their own nature and way – much more driven by emotion and feeling. And that affects the teams, the organization and the work.
You used to move when you went from one meeting to another, now you just log out and in.
To know who you are as an organization, team or team member, you can use archetypes. Due to all the changes in the past year, it is no longer clear who or what the organization is now. The organization must make that clear again and reposition it. Repositioning? Hell yes! Externally, the organization probably still stands for the same standards and values. But because their own people have been through so much, the question is whether those same norms and values are important to them at the moment, or whether you should perhaps look at what has the focus at the moment. Hence repositioning. Maybe it will stay the same, but you have to do the exercise. Recalibrate.
Positioning is about the mental position you want to take. Research has shown that people and brands that have a strong association with one specific archetype are much more successful. This is in contrast to those who have something of all characters. For brands and organizations, the mistake is often made to appeal to as many people as possible, no choice is made for one character. Elements are then chosen from several, if not all, characters. The result is that it is less appealing to people.
The people within the organization also have their own archetype. Each employee has his or her own characteristics and character. That’s not to say I’m pigeon-holing people or labelling them. It helps to determine where the points of attention and tone of voice should lie. That brings me back to varying how I deliver which message. When does that message get to the right characters? And also, what message is, as it were, “Greek” for whom.
The different archetypes – we use Jung’s 12 archetypes – all react differently to the current circumstances. And will all behave differently when we step into the new normal.
The 4 Ego Personalities
During the lockdown, the Innocent follows the rules. Pushing boundaries is not for him. When starting up back at work, he will neatly settle into the – any new – rules. He doesn’t stand out on his own.
The Regular Guy
The Regular Guy doesn’t want to stand out or get out of step. Both during the lockdown and back at the work location, he follows the rules. Because of his empathy and willingness to connect, he is eager to see his colleagues in real live again. Because of his empathy and wanting to connect, he is eager to see his colleagues in real life again.
The Hero emerges in these turbulent times. He cannot stand weakness and will increasingly resist the changing rules. He makes himself heard and demands clarity. If there is no clarity, he creates it himself.
The Caregiver is reviving during this time, but at the same time is very depressed. He wants to help and care where necessary. And that’s everywhere. But rules also stop him from following his instincts. The chance of imbalance is lurking.
The 4 Soul Personalities
The lockdown is one big adventure for the Explorer. But his characteristic – being able to do his own thing – is very limited and that is a problem for him. He still continues to look for the limits and see what is still possible.
There are rules for the Rebel to be broken. All the rules and changes we’ve had to deal with in the past year stimulate his imagination. When he returns to work, it’s another challenge; what new rules will come back in its path. His greatest fear is being powerless or ineffective.
The lockdown is very difficult for the Lover. He longs for all contacts and can’t wait to see everyone again. When this is possible again, he will catch up. The Lover’s driving force is to see, speak and hear people. In short, being among people. His shortage of human contacts must be made up for him.
In times of crisis, the Creator continues to see opportunities. He keeps pushing the boundaries and wants to go much further than where others stop. He goes for lasting values. He has a lot of trouble with the rules that are currently in place, especially because they are constantly changing. He lacks the vision of the regulators and is also difficult to arrange for it.
The 4 Self-Personality Types
The Jester wants to live and enjoy the moment. It is therefore very difficult for him to be in isolation. In these difficult times, he will try as much as possible to take that light-heartedly. The moment he gets back to people, he really perks up. He will spend a lot of time interacting with others and will try to brush away the problems with a joke.
For the Sage, Corona and the lockdowns are a confusing time. He is always looking for an understanding of the world. For the Sage, knowledge and truth are of the utmost importance. He himself thinks logically and he looks at things objectively. When he does not have all the information or views are constantly changing, he becomes restless.
The Magician sets things in motion. He does not agree when something is not possible. He always finds a way to get it done. In an undesirable situation, he will try to change it to a desired situation. He doesn’t believe in restrictions. The Corona rules don’t hit him lightly or heavily, he’s looking for a way out.
In the group, the Ruler is in control. He is a traditional man. Conservative with a great sense of responsibility. He understands (his own) rules and ensures that they are followed. But now, it is mainly others and rapidly changing circumstances that sway the sceptre. The Ruler is no longer the leader who determines, but the leader who has to carry out. And that gnaws.
We’re moving on, but how are we supposed to do that? First of all, make sure that you guide your teams with their dynamics in returning to your organization. It almost looks like a reintegration. Or to stay in business terms: you need a new onboarding. An onboarding, throughout the entire organization. From left to right, but certainly also from top to bottom. That onboarding is not there yet. Every now and then it is considered. At the moment, we are also working on this with a number of customers. But there are still decision-makers who do not want to do this yet. Why not? Do they expect that they will still be able to work out the few years until they retire? After me the flood, as it were. Do they not dare? Or do they have the thoughts that the ideas must come from themselves, the not-invented-by-me principle. And they have not reached the point where they know the solution yet. Well, the reason doesn’t really matter, but everyone in the organization returns to the location. And what happens there?
Everyone has their own story and experiences from the lockdown. These are taken by him or her in the group. This provides input and influence on the group dynamics. Sometimes people come back to the physical workplace for the first time. Also, there are people who have not been able to work remotely. They also bring their experiences. And then there’s the moment when both groups meet again. The home workers are coming back to their workplace. Sometimes even among the people who have been “guarding the fortress” all this time. How’s that going to compare? What dynamic is coming off there?
When you talk about change, this is one big change. Even worse – and that’s what makes it so difficult – it’s an imposed change. And then one more where the rules and perspectives change over and over again. Where stakeholders, experts, directors, managers and politicians apparently have different goals with their own agendas. A very explosive cocktail.
There are still many ambiguities, one thing is certain: the way we work will never be quite the same again.
You have to recalibrate as an organization. Let’s see who you are again. Who you want to be? And what you stand for. You have to redefine the organizational culture, the DNA of the organization. What have the influences been? What’s the impact? And how are we supposed to handle it? When you know that, you can chart the course to get there. Then, now that you know you need to guide your teams in the reintegration process, you know what to do.
Now it comes to do. Can you do that yourself? Of course, you can! But who is asking the real critical questions? Who is not satisfied with politically correct answers? Who recognizes the flatterers, the yes-men, the frontier scouts, the workers, the thinkers, the saboteurs, the opponents, the renegades, the cart-pullers and so on? When you do this on the basis of archetypes, you can explain this more easily for yourself and to the people in the organization. Simplicity, consistent and clear communication is the basis for proper re-onboarding. Think about how you get the insight, how you can include people in the right way in your new organization. Whether you call it “Organization 3.0 or 4.0” or whatever. Your organization is changing!
Simplicity, consistent and clear communication is the basis for proper re-onboarding.
It’s intense. It is difficult. Especially when it comes to yourself. With others you can see it clearly, but your own organization, your own colleagues, that remains difficult. Be strong and ask for help. Not to outsource everything, but to do this together. Strange eyes to see the perspective, own strength to pick it up. In difficult times you always get further together.
© 2021 Essentiedenkers
- You may think your roadmap is complete
- Everyone wants to have responsibility, but who wants to take it?
- Course is change, course is strength
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