Here in Germany we have a more rigorous confinement now, though lockdown has been in place since before Christmas. My surroundings are safe and calm. We have friends and family who are working as doctors and in other healthcare roles, or as teachers and they are back into difficult times. Many people we know are home-schooling and working from home. Everyone has their own challenges.
Before Christmas I heard a presentation given by David Peterson who works on Google’s coaching programmes. He was talking about managing to work in an uncertain disrupted environment. Key to doing this is having an attitude of experimentation:
‘What am I learning?’
So, facing a new situation, developing a plan to deal with it, preferably a number of options (as many as 5 different ones), preferably with the input of other colleagues (he recommends taking the points of view of at least 3 colleagues to triangulate your thinking), implementing it and taking time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. His diagram looked like this.
People dealing with overloaded hospitals and reorganisation of schools are already doing this and have been doing it for months. Their choices will be informed by their experience and training and, at some points, not, because they have encountered completely new issues to deal with.
Key in the reflection process is a stance of ‘I may be wrong..’ and the ability to stand back and see the whole process and all its dynamics from the outside.
Zooming in to check that the detail is working is key as well. Dialogue with colleagues, discussion and collaboration are essential to this and an awareness that you may need to abandon approaches you have relied on for years.
It is uncomfortable because there is a lot of thinking, experimenting and learning through the reflection.
So, we have done that – so what do we do now moving on? What worked well? What didn’t? What more do I know now that I didn’t before?
Staying open to unlearning stuff we have tried and tested before can be a big challenge. Really listening to other colleagues and their ideas during disrupted times may be hard when we want to move towards practical and often urgent action. The broader the range of viewpoints, the more solid the solution is likely to be however.
Our stance needs to be one of being open to new ideas, new technologies, experiences and ideas.
I wish you well for the coming weeks.
#coachingthroughdisrutpedtimes #experimentation #reflection #unlearning #learning #leadershipcoaching