Food for thought

We will have to forgive each other

by Julia Weiss

…following the words of German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn. Not yet fully realizing the topicality of a professionally perhaps helpful but not fully thought-out idea of an immunity pass. 

Yes, so it is these days. We experience steep learning curves, lots of friction, balls falling off (let me just say parallelism of home office and homeschooling). Even among the greatest perfectionists among us.

On the other hand, there is a fraction on whom corona strikes amnesia. Pre-Corona claims and performance levels seem to be forgotten. Corona has become the ultimate favorite excuse.  … (Use anything here) does not work, because of Corona.

So, what is the right attitude regarding (self-) criticism during this crisis? Do we have to be stricter with ourselves and others? Or more forgiving?

Perhaps the right way out of this dilemma would be to remain realistic and empathetic. Putting additional fear and pressure on yourself and others, does not help. Rather it let’s you glide into a state of unproductivity, a troublesome state and additional uncertainty. In these conditions, our internal disturbing voices take over the direction, nothing goes ahead. The head is filled with white fog. You feel like being lost in a wide and thick forest with no way out, no longer knowing what is right and wrong.

A realistic take is that we develop a good risk competence. About what we can expect from ourselves, our family and our employees. It is important to push for liability and robust agreements. Because these, too, provide orientation and security. Even if at times uncomfortable and difficult to achieve.

Going through this, you (as parent /friend/ supervisor) can remain empathetic. I can challenge and promote and still keep an eye on my and others needs and limits. Keeping in mind that those can be individual and quite different.

How do we sharpen and develop this realistic (self) image? Once again, the basics of New Work can be applied: Listen carefully, even if it is difficult - after a 6-hour marathon of conference calls. Initiate a perspectives’ change by regularly inviting for feedback sessions. Take a change of role yourself. This is even possible in the virtual area, can be great fun and strengthen your team. In any case, the crisis is an opportunity to expand and strengthen your own communication and conflict resolution skills. And learning to invest constructively in your own development without giving too much space for destructive voices. In this sense: Remain emphatic. Or as the Greek philosopher Plato puts it: "Be kind, because all the people you meet fight a difficult fight".

Julia Weiss works with her executive clients to unleash their full potential in their varying roles, and/or of their work teams and organizations. Thus she enables the executive and his or her team to achieve a sophisticated and sustainable level of performance. Julia is a certified executive and team coach, moderator and speaker with a focus of sales performance and change management. She works as a Partner of Leadership Choices, an international consultancy focusing on leadership development at Top Management level. Julia’s experience is based on more than 15 years of work in different senior management settings – as a strategy consultant and as managing director - sales in the media industry.

Go back