While we all experienced Covid-19, our experiences are our own. We lived this year very differently than any year in recent history. There was so much uncertainty, so many unknowns and the changes just kept on coming.
On March 14, 2020 our lives as we knew them changed forever. While there is no going back to the life we had a year ago, there are so many learnings to take into 2021 and beyond.
- Human beings are incredibly resilient – Was it an easy year, no but over and over again we showed up for ourselves and for each other. We figured it out, even when we weren’t entirely sure what it was.
- Mental Wellness has to be a priority – This was a year where so many of our habits, routines, plans and passions were impacted. Having an awareness about how you feel about the changes and creating space to let yourself feel those feelings was new for so many people. It is something we have to learn to prioritize. Will you?
- Working from home requires boundaries – For those that shifted to working from home, in the beginning there was a sense of relief. Not having to commute, being available for your family and overall a feeling of safety at home. Quickly the relief changed to stress and anxiety as family members knew you were in the house and wanted your attention now. Perhaps you started spending more and more time in front of your computer, not realizing you hadn’t moved in hours. Creating boundaries around your work space and your working hours while living in the same 4 walls for was definitely new for most people. What boundaries have you created?
- Leaders needed now more than ever – There are very few people alive today that have experienced anything close to this pandemic. Which means that regardless of your role in life and at work it was all new. The most important thing a leader could do this year was be available and visible to your team. No one expected you to have the answers, just be present. How did you lead this year?
- Intentional and clear change communication – Communicating change whether it be government or private sector, was really hit or miss this year. Sometimes too much, other times it was hard to find. When communicating change, it’s important to keep it simple, do it often and create a 2-way conversation. Can you imagine if the first message we heard about wearing a mask was “ Wear a mask whenever you are around anyone outside your household regardless of where you are”?
- Thank you Zoom but still no substitute for a hug – The pandemic acted as a catalyst for digital transformation, advancing implementation and adoption of digital technologies by as much as 5-7 years. The shift to digital will forever change how we work and connect with each other, opening up new possibilities for collaboration across the world. Still there is nothing like a belly to belly hug.
- Enough shaming already! – Throughout the year the best in humanity has shown up in our communities and families. It is beautiful to witness. As we got closer to the holidays the compassion gave way to shaming family and friends for having different risk tolerances for what is ok when interacting with others. Everyone is in a different place, and making their own choices about how they live each day. This year is hard enough, stop pressuring and shaming those you love because they are making a different choice than you are.
What did you learn about change in 2020?
As we get set to ring in the new year and welcome 2021, know that you can shift your state of mind and show up in the world as a positive force. How you react and treat others really is up to you.