The Corona or Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and still feels a bit surreal. It’s causing disruptive change in the way we live, work, act, interact and think. In my last post, we reflected on personal development and opening up, on what is emerging, what we can let go of, what our team’s purpose is, and how we contribute to the whole. This is an opportunity to develop a caring culture of compassion at work and in life.

Let’s also look at some practical tips to cope with the new reality of working at home, virtual meetings, and staying positive.

Virtual meeting: Check-In and Out

Rachel Ben Hamou shares some great tips, such as the Check-in and Check-out of your virtual meeting. This might be even more important in a virtual meeting than onsite, as it allows people to “arrive” and share quickly.
Check-in: Ask each person to share whether they are feeling red, orange or green in the current moment. It’s a great way to prepare everyone for the conversation.
Red means you’re overwhelmed, stressed, upset or generally having a tough time.
Orange means things aren’t ideal but you’re coping.
Green means you’re feeling good about things.
It’s important to recognize that all feelings are valid and this isn’t a session to fix or address anyone’s color. If someone says red, you might follow up with them afterwards. Let them know you’ve got their back and are there for support.
Check-out: Check-outs are a quick way of polling people for reflections on the session. It helps bring a sense of closure to the gathering and helps people mentally and emotionally transition out of the conversation.

Connect with Purpose and Contribution

The Center of Positive Organizations shares great ideas to help find meaning in working alone and as a virtual team. Start your work (at home, all alone) with a purpose check-in by asking simple questions like:
* Why am I showing up today? Whose lives do I contribute to through my work?
Regardless of your new environment, you can find a sense of stability through reconnecting with your purpose.
In a virtual meeting, find who you are as a collective by defining your relationship with the crisis as members of an organization:
* What can I/we offer to the greater community right now in the midst of crisis?
Make sure to spread positivity by asking questions like:
* What are three good things that happened today?
When you feel irritated, mentally note: “This person is experiencing things more than I can imagine”. Shift your perspective to a positive assumption like “This person is good, capable, and worthy of compassion.” See what you notice when you make this mental shift. It might uplift your virtual collaboration.

Develop a Positive Culture

My three favorite tips are: Focus your attention
Be careful what you give attention to. Feeling anxious? Acknowledge that emotion and meditate – but refrain from indulging in the news every hour. Give attention to something small that was positive today. What are you grateful for?

Focus on what you control
The news is outside of your control and so is the pandemic. Think of something small you can do for yourself and others. How can you feel better? How can you spread positivity and kindness?

Focus on your breath
Keep yourself calm, compassionate, rational, centered. Breathe deeply three times while paying attention to your breaths. This way, you manually turn on your parasympathetic nervous system (to feel more relaxed and calm). Breathing also helps to anchor you to the present moment instead of following your trail of anxious thoughts or emotions.

Join the Positive Culture Academy

Due to the exceptional Covid-19 situation, we want to help as many people as possible to develop more resilience and positivity to face this situation. That’s why we offer access to the complete online Positive Culture Academy at an administration fee of only 9 USD.
The Positive Culture Academy offers 14 modules to learn and apply positive leadership to yourself and others, regardless of your position. You’ll learn easy-to-do Interaction Interventions for yourself and others to increase resilience and positivity, build relationships and trust, enhance team performance and bring your Best Self to any situation. Enroll here.

Engage Work-At-Home Employees

Or do a quick, free organizational and personal readiness assessment. CultureScan offers this survey and process for preparing the transition to virtual/remote workplaces. It covers the changes necessary to adopt a more virtual work operation such as:
Physical: coping with shared, confined space as more family members spend more time at home; setting boundaries and rules for private and shared spaces, getting used to more restricted movement and travel, home and office layout design and usage (space between people), shifting into more high-tech and less high-touch (more clicks and fewer bricks – for example online shopping), providing equipment for working and learning connectivity, exercise
Intellectual: provision of home schooling, on-line training
Emotional: new relationship challenges at home, trusting and respecting remote work colleagues, being equipped with techniques to sooth anxiety, bring about calm (music, meditation), feel supported and having access to help, adopting ‘agency-based’ rather than ‘rules – based’ working conditions, self-discipline
Social: altering the balance of work, social and family living; coping
with a new social distancing arising out of moving into a remote home bubble
Spiritual: continuing to find meaning, having moments of gratitude, reflecting.

© Marcella Bremer, 2020. All rights reserved.