Trust and Collaboration Like Never Before

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We all need attitudes, behaviours & habits which will help us be agile, much much more agile

The world has become virtual in the last few weeks like never before… and this may be the beginning of a new normal, a new way of life that will keep knocking at our doorsteps again and again.

Amongst all the noise of the business world, even last quarter we were shouting Digital is the New Way, Digital is here to change the way we live, Digital is the next revolution which has happened and whatnot… And look at us today, connected by & jointed up in just two things…

  • Fighting COVID 19 and
  • Preserving our ways of life through Digital connections

By the time you read this article, we may still be battling this phase, or we could be well past it, or maybe battling something else, but some lessons are here to stay. Everyone that I have spoken with or supported during the last several weeks has experienced several common lessons and insights.

Here are 6 insights that I have distilled for my work:

  1. We are yet to see the heights of what’s possible in a VUCA world
  2. We will at times have to put up a fight, which we may not have trained or prepared for
  3. We have a way of life which may be keeping us from better ways
  4. We have the courage in us to deeply and truly respond to changes around us
  5. We have access to technology today, that which can help us live drastically better lifes
  6. We all need attitudes, behaviours & habits which will help us be agile, much much more agile

On the thought of habits, Charles Duhigg mentioned in his Power of Habits

“Habits are powerful but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.” And one such impact of habit is the way we have designed our brains to govern our work life…

This is where I would like to call-out that in the last several weeks, many of us have seen tremendous change of habits. During my interaction with several groups on pre & post crisis behaviours and habits, here is what I learnt.

In the workplace, before this crisis, we have had so many of our habits that we were clinging to:

  • Going to offices at a fixed timing, often too much time
  • One too many meetings and other group activities, which were not necessarily yielding necessary results
  • Judging, stereotyping, and tines of hidden biases operating us
  • Politicking, groupism and so many unproductive endeavours
  • And often forgetting the Vision, Mission & Values of the very organization’s that provides us our career/job

As the work started getting on to digital platforms, the initial confusion let out to:

  • Short crisp meetings
  • Focus on the here and now
  • Getting things done to hold things together
  • Only necessary conversations
  • Doing one’s part responsibly
  • Helping others
  • Collective & cohesive actions

If you recognize, there is a pattern that is emerging. And, while there are tons of things that we could do better, here are few habits, which will serve us well if the world were to truly and totally operate a Virtual & Digital world. These are:

Though known words, the meaning and operationalization of these words can be totally different. Here is a simple way of practicing these habits, with some micro habits of do’s and do’s

 Do’s – Start or ContinueDo’s – Stop
Be trustingListen deeply to the emotion and content of otherMake space for others to contribute realtimeAllow others to evolve & change what they think and feel, if supported by a reasonAllow others to do what they think is their bestAssist in agile & rapid learning and changeHelp freely and without holding an accounting of how and how muchPraise the small acts and gainsGive feedback on time, and only positivelyLoose the desire to control others and situationsDo not judge using self or some illusionary standardDo not push others endlesslyStop criticizing everything
Be trustworthyBe clear on your expectationsCommit to the expectations of othersDeliver on commitmentsCommunicate openly and be open to receiving communicationBe reachable Listen deeply Be vulnerable and ask for help as soon as you needDo not play superheroDon’t surprise others in a negative mannerDo not compete to hurt others or their chancesDo not disrespect
Be collaborative & coexistingCommit to and deliver on collective goalsHelp freely and without holding an accounting of how and how muchShare openly Wait for those who are slowerBe vulnerable and ask for help as soon as you needDo not play superheroDon’t surprise others in a negative mannerDo not compete to hurt others or their chancesDe not forget there will be a day when you will need others

These are some habits that will help leaders, managers, individual contributors and everyone in general. They are simple yet have the ability to eliminate so much of wasted time and energy of our workplaces.

Sometime a crisis is required to come back to simple things.

And this crisis has made one thing clear – We all need attitudes, behaviours & habits which will help us be agile, much much more agile

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