The news changes daily and regular updates modifications of normal.  And yet, in business we need to press on as much as possible.  It takes more than just task orientation to stay connected.  It takes empathy and intentionality to go to another level.  StrengthSmart was designed as a conversation guide around individual strengths but has different applications.  Here are FIVE WAYS to start your next call:

  • Listen first: During times of crisis people need to be heard. I know someone who managed a team through Hurricane Katrina.  Some lost everything and others were not able to work for months. Take time to listen made a huge difference.  We all need an empathetic ear right now.
  • Know why: Before starting anything on the “To Do” list, pause for a minute and agree to take time to connect in each call vs. just get things done.  With all that is going on in the world, why is important we stay connected as work colleagues? Talk about it.
  • Reflect on purpose: With the noise of the daily news, minding for our families and friends, and every other distraction, recall the purpose of your work.  What is the greater good that happens because you are connecting today?  How does it help you connect to the mission of your company and who it serves?
  • Set goals: How often will you connect?  What needs to be accomplished between you in the next week? Two weeks?  What three achievements would define success?  How will you celebrate.
  • Now Get It Done: After these steps do what you set out to do on your call.

At the end of the call a brief review of how it started is a good idea. Social theory says that you will do something with others as long as each sees the value.  Find the value for each other in this framework.  How did the first part of the call affect the discussion?  What went well?  What will you do next time?  When it becomes less valuable for either party ask why and brainstorm new ways to connect.

This is all about social connection and being intentional about taking your relationships to another level as we all adjust to social distancing.  I am reminded of what Tom Peters, Author of, “In Search of Excellence,” said about soft skills.  The hard skills are really the soft skills and the soft skills are really the hard skills.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Neel on Unsplash