Hard to think of strength in such a destabilizing time. Business, life and the world are uncertain. Now more than ever. What do you lean on when things feel shaky? You. Your strengths.
My Executive Coaching clients this week have been grappling with the risks from the coronavirus or Covid 19 – how do they support their employees, customers, the business and themselves? How do they lead when consistently virtual? How do they still strive to achieve the business objectives to lessen the negative fiscal impact? What happens as their opinions of what to do conflict with their colleagues especially in multinational organizations?
When things are uncertain, destabilizing and potentially scary the greatest certainty can be found in yourself, your skills, abilities, qualities, mindset and inner resources.
Start with self-reflection:
- What do you know you do well? What training have you had? Think about skills and abilities. Look at your historic performance reviews if you’re struggling.
- What have you achieved in your life including work? What was it about you that made that happen? For example, many people say they have raised great kids. Ok, what is it that you did and what type of parent were you that lead to that great child?
- What are the qualities or characteristics of you that your friends and family appreciate?
- What compliments or positive feedback have you received?
What is your attitude and mindset when you’re at your best? What do you do to manage that?
- Ask friends, family and colleagues what they appreciate about you? There’s even a tool, called Point Positive, for doing this methodically that I use in some leadership programs. It actually requests and captures stories from your friends, family and colleagues of you when you are at your best. The stories that participants read (myself included) are so affirming and help remind us who we are when we’re our best selves.
- Get feedback from your team – ask them “what should I continue doing?” as this is an easier question than “what feedback do you have for me?”
Create as long a list as possible. Include strengths that others named even if you don’t quite believe it. Include ones that might not be 100% amazing, that might only be 75% – it’s still a positive attribute you can call on during this time.
How to Stay Positive
So, you now know your strengths. How do you keep that positive focus as turbulence swirls around you?
- Read your list of strengths often. And don’t just read them, feel them. Pause as you read each one. Breath them in. Really feel them in your body. Smile and appreciate each strength as you read it.
- Start a gratitude practice if you don’t have one already. On a daily basis, write down things you are grateful for, and have at least 1 of those gratitudes be about you – a self-gratitude means something about you that you are proud of from that day. Download this Gratitude Template from my website to help you start. I suggest you have a gratitude journal to make it a practice. A consistent daily practice is proven (click here to see some research) to have many benefits – emotional and physical wellbeing, career success and happiness.
- Post them on your bathroom mirror – read them daily to remind yourself.
- Talk to others about their strengths and encourage people to play to those strengths.
- Leadership includes self-leadership – consciously manage your attitude and mindset to have the impact you want to have.
- Think of how you can leverage your strengths to the new reality.
Focusing on your strengths also puts you in the frame of mind to focus on other peoples’ strengths. How do you bring out the best in each other especially at times of stress?
Your strengths, these inner resources are constants during turbulent times. Trust in yourself and those around you.
If you want support in this VUCA world (click if you haven’t heard that term before) contact me through this link to book a complimentary clarity session. I have now allocated time each week for complimentary sessions with leaders wanting a safe place to talk. Sessions are virtual.