STOP! You are already skilled!
Here I am, trying to establish myself as someone who helps to get results through others and at the same time realising that this may not be what the world need right now. So I wonder what do we need? Let me take you on a journey of some thoughts and ideas that may pop up occasionally and fall under the radar in the vast amount of content out there.
So what about your skills? You made it to October 2020 and found this article. Surely, you must have some skills that helped you getting here. What are they? How have these skills helped you to get to where you are at today? And how do these skills help you now to continue to navigate through this difficult time?
The pandemic has put us all in a situation that we have never experienced before. The world as we knew it has disappeared at least for now. We meet less people, we don’t shake hands, we keep a distance. Many of us moved to working from home which has come with challenges.
Working Remote Challenges
In March, Melanie Pinola wrote about the The 7 biggest remote work challenges (and how to overcome them). In fact, I was surprised that I didn’t find many recent articles that address the issues that employees are facing when working remotely. In her article, Pinola identifies the below list of 7 challenges and offers some tips to tackle them.
- Working too much
- Prioritising work
- Loneliness & lack of human interactions
- Communications issues & being out of the loop
- Technology hiccups
- Bad health habits
In my own experience, I can relate to almost all of them with working too much being on the top of my list. While not meeting too many people on a daily basis and trying to keep meetings effective, we can easily forget that our working environment is like nobody else’s. I have no children or pets. Others however do. I have my husband being at home, too. Others may be completely on their own. It made me realise that it is very easy to forget about the fact that each one of us has their own personal challenges with the so called new norm. Having another lockdown imposed may limit the virus spread but also adding to the challenges listed above.
I don’t know about you but I love learning. I can read about human behaviour, leadership and personal development topics all day long. Reading alone however will hardly help us develop. We must also engage in practicing what we have learned, try out what resonates and adapt if it doesn’t work until it does. I personally find it inspiring when somebody tells me how they did overcome their personal challenges, so I can take the process they have used and try it for myself to get over my own personal obstacles. However, if I don’t practice, there is little that I can change in my everyday experience. And without meeting people practicing has become a lot harder to do.
The pandemic itself poses already enough struggles to deal with. Yesterday, I learned there will be no trick and treat here in Ireland this Halloween. My heart immediately went out to all the children that would not be able to knock on doors for their sweets. It must be hard too for parents to explain to their children that this year continues to take away lots of the things they were looking forward to. At the same time they may fear for their future in work, of their businesses and financial stability. Such and other worrying thoughts combined with the fear of a family member becoming sick may be more disturbing than people want to admit.
In fact the pandemic has a huge impact on our personal lives that we need to acknowledge.
What do we need?
Is acknowledgement what we truly need? Somebody who is checking in on us? Somebody who is not only asking How are you?, but also listening to how we are actually doing.
What about our skills? Are they needed? The ones that we use everyday when talking to colleagues, family members, friends and clients and business partners. The skills you use when your team has failed to win the match but you still hope that they one season will make it to the top of the league. The skills that kept you going through college when you didn’t care about the subjects. The skills that have you connect to other people when you first meet them and help building relationships.
Maybe these skills are required right now. The skills you already have that you can use to check in with the people you care about, to check in with your colleagues that always help you when you need them, to check in with yourself and to share your despair if there is any.
Maybe we need to stop for a moment to take a deep breathe. To acknowledge what we still have and how this can help us to connect to whom and what is important to us. Maybe we need to stop making it so hard for ourselves. We have already achieved so much and all that we need to do is taking stock of what that is.
Before I finish, I don’t propose to stop having faith that we will get through this time. I propose that we allow ourselves to be mindful that we are already having enough on our plates with this pandemic which came on top of lots of personal challenges that many of us had already to deal with. I propose to pause and allow ourselves to just be, not more, not less.