Managing our personal responses as business moves out of Covid
By Sid Madge, Meee
When you first heard about Covid did you predict it would have such a massive impact on our business and our personal lives?
I’m a great believer in ‘micro-moments’, the ability to change our life in any moment and to use these tiny manageable interventions to gain positive momentum – even when things are challenging. I’ve written three Meee in a Minute books, each offering 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
Here are some ideas with a 5 letter acronym, C.O.V.I.D, to help business owners transition out of Covid and shape the year ahead in a positive way.
C = Create a better situation for yourself, for others and for your business
The pandemic itself has been a nightmare. Yet during this time many of us have come to appreciate, perhaps for the first time in ages what’s really important. Primarily reconnection to what’s important has come from extended periods at home with family but it is also encouraging us to consider what life is going to be like after. C is an invitation to create something new or better in your business, as well as elsewhere in your life.
Take a minute to consider your current situation. Imagine the pandemic is a distant memory – what is your ideal business life like now? Forget about grand gestures, focus on the little things, the insights you’ve learned in this stillness about what makes you happy at work – aim for more of that.
O = Optimism brings opportunity
Are you a glass half-empty or glass-half full person? Most of us believe we are one or the other. However, science has proven that we operate across a range that is impacted a little by genetics but mainly environment and mindset. Martin Seligman, father of positive psychology, suggests that pessimism is largely learned. Which means it can be unlearned. The key is our ‘explanatory style’, the way we draw meaning from events and situations we face. The uber-pessimists tend to see things as personal, pervasive and permanent.
In other words, when things go wrong a pessimist will always assume that it’s their fault. Missing a train on a journey to an important business meeting will always their fault regardless of whether the train left early or they were indeed a bit late to the platform. Pervasive relates to how the negative event will impact their life. For a pessimist, the missed train will inevitably ‘infect’ other areas of their life. A missed train is confirmation of their uselessness or spells the end of the business relationship/potential deal or may even lead to ill health.
And finally, whatever’s wrong is permanent. That’s gloomy – right? Whereas a business owner who is an optimist will do the opposite. A missed train is just a missed train, it has nothing to do with them personally. This might be a little delusional too if they were so busy talking to a colleague, they didn’t see the train arrive at the platform but for an optimistic outlook not taking things personally is key. There is no spillage between a missed train and their business life or their personal relationships – a poor result or negative outcome in one area will not necessarily impact any other area of their life.
Optimism just feels better, and it gives us access to more resources. Besides, it’s more real. Nothing is permanent not even Covid. If things are challenging in one part of your life, don’t allow that upset to seep into other areas. Instead, be grateful for all the things that are still going well. By nudging our way to the optimistic end of our range, we’ll see more opportunity in business and more widely, and feel better in ourselves.
V = Values to keep you focused
Our actions and behaviour are usually a living expression of our values. Do you know what your values are?
When I worked in the world of branding, we used to help organisations get clear on what their values were so they could understand the impact they were having on the business, behaviour, recruitment and culture.
When I started the Meee Programme I created something similar – a set of 56 values cards. We ask participants to pick five values that resonate with them or that they want to demonstrate in their life.
Take a minute to visit the Meee website (www.meee.global) and take part in the values exercise. This will help to identify what your values are. What’s most important to you? Money? Business? Family? Honesty? What are your ethics or code of conduct? Can you see evidence of these values in your life? Pick one – when did you last demonstrate this value? Use your values to keep you focused on what’s really important.
I = Involve those that need your help, support and leadership
Humans are social creatures. This is a huge part of why Covid has been such a nightmare. No face-to-face business meetings or a convivial drink at the end of working week. But we can still get involved and stay connected.
Can you do something for a supplier who needs a little extra help?
Pick up the phone and actually make a call to a business acquaintance you haven’t heard from for a while.
The Samaritans have been promoting a brilliant idea – Brew Monday. Instead of Blue Monday they suggest making a brew and calling someone for a natter. We all need a break during a working day so give this a try!
We might not be able to do all the things we used to do yet, but we can still talk and stay connected.
D = Dial down the stress – this too shall pass
It’s easier said than done try focusing on selfcare, offering kindness and hope to yourself and other people. As a driven business owner this is an important point to remember.
Eat properly and get out into nature if possible. Do some exercise or activity a few times each week to help reduce stress. Take some time to relax, perhaps try yoga or meditation.
Cycle back to ‘I’ – our stress levels are usually reduced when we have company. A problem shared is a problem halved. It may not be the same as it was just yet but we can still keep in touch, talk and laugh. And finally, never forget that we can successful transition out of Covid using C-O-V-I-D to help.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.