Home>Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Team Performance, Webinars>Work From Home: Shifting Leadership Styles, Creating a Culture of Trust
Elena_Pastore

Elena Pastore
Marketing Lead Project Manager
May 28, 2020

Work From Home: Shifting Leadership Styles, Creating a Culture of Trust

Join us as Churchill’s Elena Pastore sits down for an interview with our CEO and Executive Coach, Jayne Jenkins. Given the current climate and shift to virtual or work from home situations, Jenkins has seen the need to shift leadership styles and build a culture of trust within the teams in our organizations.

Jayne examines what a “command and control” leadership style is and how that approach will not serve a leader’s impact nor their team’s performance as effectively in a virtual setting. She highlights the importance of adapting your leadership style to avoid micromanaging. Micromanaging will decrease trust, decrease the productivity of the working relationship, and no one wins. Instead, focus on building trust with your teams. Jayne also shares her insight for how leaders can begin to shift to a more people-centric or innovation-centric culture that empowers their employees and teams.

The transcript has been edited for readability:

Elena: Hi my name is Elena. I am a marketing lead here at Churchill. I have been working here for almost a year and it’s been a great experience working here with Jayne, our CEO. She can introduce herself.

Jayne: Thank you, Elena. Yes I’m the CEO of Churchill Leadership Group. I’m also an executive coach with multiple specialties, and Churchill Leadership Group was founded almost 9 years ago now to really enable talent to thrive in global corporations and government agencies. So we have over 200 executive coaches who also play the role of consulting, facilitating, and training at times, who work with our clients in partnership around the globe to deliver organizational development, leadership development, and team performance solutions. So, we work in APAC EMEA, Latin America, and North America, and delighted, Elena, you’re part of our team.

Elena: I’m happy to be a part of the team! Today for this interview, we’re going to talk about the shift of going to virtual work. It’s becoming more important that leaders are able to create a really empowering and high trust culture – culture versus “command and control”. So, for those people that may not be familiar with “command and control” leadership style, could you explain a little bit about what that is and how it works?

Jayne: Absolutely! I think an easy way for people to think of command and control style of leadership, the military might come to mind where you have a general and all the different levels below the general in the military where the general gives commands. They give the orders and people follow. There are hierarchy roles that are very clear and hierarchy responsibilities. A command and control culture and style tends to show up in corporate or businesses as the leader tells what to do, the leader might tell us how to do it, we go to the leader for information, we go to the leader to make decisions and and we follow that direction. 

I don’t think anyone is totally command-and-control in terms of their style, but cultures and individual leaders can tend to have more of a command and control approach. And, so, I think what we’ve been talking about and thinking about a lot is how does that work in general, in terms of effectiveness for employees in an organization’s performance? And now we’re in this Corona crisis situation, challenge situation. How does that work when teams have to work remotely?

Elena: I think it’s important for people to know that there’s never a one-size-fits-all for any situation. And, especially when exploring the unknown, or when dealing with the unknown, we would say that you should see what works best for you and your team and exploring a lot of different options.

Jayne: Yeah, it’s interesting. I think what we’re talking about in this space is situational leadership. And, great leaders can adapt and pivot based on what the situation needs. And so one type of style would be a more directive style, and areas where it works well can be in the initial crisis. Something has happened that we didn’t expect, what do we do right now? And that might be where a leader has to stand, take the lead, make a difference in that moment and give people direction. But, to use it consistently particularly once a change would have been figured out we’re now working from home, we’re seeing this for the near future, this is how we’re going to operate, then a command and control and more directive style doesn’t work as well. Yea! And coaching and empowerment is another type of style. 

Elena: I can see how the command and control leadership might be limiting or even detrimental to transformational change management, which is what so many companies and businesses are finding themselves in right now as they’re shifting to remote or virtual work teams in light of coronavirus. So, can you speak a little bit to that? 

Jayne: Yes I think change is consistent. I think we all know that transformation is often something that organizations are trying to do. They might want to transform into more of an innovative culture. They might want to transform to working in different ways, and so I think this transformational change has been forced on us because of the situation that we’re all in globally. 

And one of those clear changes that we’re dealing with right now are leaders and their teams working from home who wouldn’t normally work from home. What does that look like if a leader or culture is more command and control? Rarely is a command and control leader in a culture of a company where it’s more empowering than coaching. It’s usually if we have command and control leadership the general culture of the organization it is more like that. If you’re existing in more of a command and control culture, and that’s your style as a leader, and now you’ve had to shift to your team working remotely versus them being on your doorstep, think about some of the things I said earlier. You might become even more directive because you can’t see them at work and you want to make sure they’re doing what you need them to do, so you may be giving more orders or giving more direction, or telling them more what to do. 

You might feel a need to check on them all because you can’t see them doing the work like you might in the office or be in live meetings where you’re seeing the work happen. It might risk you being more of a micromanager managing, and many times in programs I’ve asked people “Who loves a micromanager?”; no one puts their hand up. And I ask “Well who here’s micromanaging?”, and no one puts their hand up. So, I don’t know who’s doing the micromanaging, but it does go on, and it’s a risk if you’re more of a command and control style now that your people aren’t in front of you. 

If your people are reliant on you to give them the answers or for you to make decisions, you’re not as available because you’re working from home. Now, you’ve become a roadblock to the pace of your business. And things slow down, and you aren’t as productive. This is some of the shifts that we might be experiencing if you have a command and control, more directive culture or leadership style.

Elena: People might start micromanaging more in this space so that they can make sure that they are on top of what their employees are doing. A lot of people will say, “No I’m not a micromanager”, and “No I, I don’t like to be micromanaged”, but I think a lot of times people probably don’t realize it, or they don’t see their actions as being a micromanager because they might think, “Well I just want to make sure my my team and my employees are getting the job done and doing it well”. And while that might be true, people have to be reflective when they’re in a different workspace and think about how they’re approaching situations differently now and given the circumstances. So, you know, I can definitely see that being an issue and people needing to reflect about what they’re doing. 

Jayne: I’ll throw in a little tip there, because you speak to that beautifully, that someone’s intent might be good. They want to make sure that me and my team are delivering through this difficult situation, so the intent might be a good one. Right? We want to deliver good results, but the impact might not be a good one. And I may not realize I’m micromanaging by checking on you all of the time. “Have you got this done? Have you done that? etc.”, where you might be working really hard from home, you might have to be more flexible because maybe you have your children at home, or your husband, or spouse is working from home at the same time. And so you might have to keep moving around, you might not have two offices, for example, and so you need more flexibility, but you’re confident you’re going to get the stuff done, but here’s your manager now panicking because you haven’t got it done by a certain time and you feel you’re being micromanaged. And so, that is decreasing trust, decreasing the productivity of the working relationship, and no one wins.

Elena: Definitely have to be careful and watch out for things like that. How do you think a leader begins to shift to a more people-centric or innovation-centric culture that empowers their employees and teams?

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Jayne: Yeah, the shift is important, right? Change is hard. Change is really hard, and I’m a Certified Change Management Coach so I’ve seen the research and I work with people trying to lead successful change. It is hard for a single leader to make a shift from more of a directive command-and-control leadership style to empowerment and coaching without help. It’s really hard for an individual leader to do it if everyone else is going to stick with the more directive approach. 

I think the shift has to happen at an organizational level – and that might be the business leaders, the CEOs, the CEO, the CFO – realize that our culture as it used to be isn’t working for us anymore. We need to shift our culture. We need to determine that different leadership skills are needed versus the ones we used to have. We have different expectations, particularly for some of our people who are going to continue to work from home, or our business changes because of Corona, or maybe you’re head of HR and you’re responding to employees’ needs and realize your employees need more support in some ways, but it’s not direction. It might be more feedback, it might be more of a community, right? If we think about how social media has evolved, it’s evolved not because Facebook or LinkedIn has said it’s got to evolve. It’s evolved because of what people want and how they use it. And what we see if people want to build a community and hear from each other not just from your boss, right?

I think one of the things that we’re hearing from clients is the need to build communities when people work from home so that if I’m a member of a team, I’ve got clarity of what’s expected in terms of what I need to deliver, and by when, from my manager. My manager gives me ongoing coaching and feedback and support, but I also want to operate in an environment where they’re not looking over my shoulder every minute. But I do have a community that I can work with and go to. I think the shift has to happen at an organizational level, and I think the head of HR or the business leaders have to recognize that the shift is needed and that might be feedback from employees or what’s working – it’s just not working for us the way it is. 

They need to either know how to make that shift or they can work with an organization like Churchill Leadership Group, we help companies make that shift all of the time. I think to know how to make that shift there are a couple of things that need to happen. We have to really identify what does it look like today, and what do we want it to look like in the future? It might be a leader today who gives direction and tells their people what to do. A leader in the future is skilled and has learned how to coach to empower and give meaningful feedback. A leader today just focuses on their team. A leader in the future knows how to build a community across the business that empowers them and their teams. We need to put in place a learning journey that teaches people how to do that, a learning journey where they can practice doing that and make progress – a blended learning journey.

Elena: Talking about how you think the change needs to happen from an organizational level and the individuals in the C-Suite being the ones to spearhead this change, what advice, or what would you say to an individual or maybe a few employees that feel like their top leadership isn’t taking that step towards change or isn’t identifying or recognizing that some type of change needs to happen? What would some of those people at the lower do in the case that they feel like they need something?

Jayne: What we’ve seen in the last month or so is some of our big clients do an extra employee survey to get a feel of what our employees need now, and what do they need in the longer term over the next few months. What we found was what employees were saying upfront, and what the research also tells us is in times of crisis, people need stability. They need compassion. They need their boss to understand what I need right now, what I’m going through at home. I don’t normally work from home, and my spouse is working from home, my kids are at home, I’m having to take care of another family member as well. Compassion for what I’m going through. They need trust in the relationship between boss and employee and across our team and organization, and we need hope of the future so we can work toward something.

I think by answering these surveys, employees have shared what they need. And I’d encourage employees to continue to do that. If you don’t have a more formal way of sharing what you need and the change you want to see, then look for the communities that exist or create communities. Talk to your team. You don’t have to have the title of boss, manager, or leader to make a change. If I was on the team and there wasn’t a formal way for me to request a change, I might suggest it to the team of my boss. Say, “Hey can we talk about what a future might look like for our team and what we need to thrive in the future”, and that doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. You just need to get people together to – in a trust safe environment –  open up about some of the things they think would work for the team in the future. And make sure that is communicated beyond your team to higher levels. Those are just some examples. 

Elena: I think that’s great, especially what you said about finding ways to leverage your resources and other individuals that feel the same way as you so you don’t feel alone and you feel like you have other people that can help and you can go to, and I think that’s always important.

With organizations shifting to virtual and remote teams as they adopt the world’s current state of uncertainty, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety built into that change. There’s also a lot of room for opportunity to explore the culture of empowerment and leave the command and control behind. What does a high trust culture look like for a virtual remote team, and what is the potential of that?

Jayne: Yes, I’m actually going through another team coaching certification right now. I’ve done several in the past, and yet again we hear as we go through this learning ourselves, learning is of critical importance to trust. And you can apply that thinking to anything, any relationship that you’re in – at home, at work, with family, and definitely trust between you as an employee and your boss, boss to employee, and across your team, and across your organization. Trust is a game-changer. In a command-and-control culture, trust tends to be lower, and in an empowerment coaching culture, it tends to be higher. 

Coaching needs trust and coaching done well can build trust. Trust is a critical success factor to teams and relationships. A culture really is the result of the quality of the relationships that exist in the organization, and the quality of the relationships that exist in the organization is dependent on the quality of the conversations that happen. And if I don’t trust you, I’m going to hold back in those conversations. I’m not going to open up because I feel you would judge me, you may hold it against me, you might shut me down. We want high trust to have better conversations, more productive conversations, more innovation conversations, and that will build better relationships and a better culture. I think building trust during this time, there’s a huge opportunity. So shall I share a few ways that maybe leaders and teams can build trust through Corona, would that help? 

Elena: Yeah, I think so. 

Jayne: If I am a leader leading a team through Corona, and our team is always working remotely, but I’ve ramped up us doing more exercises that build trust. There are hundreds of exercises out there that you could use to build trust, you have to Google them: trust-building exercises you can do by Zoom, trust-building exercises you can do remotely, and they don’t have to be complex. 

A lot of it is about understanding each other, understanding what each other needs to thrive, how best to work with me. One of the exercises you could do, and you could do this if you’re a leader one-on-one with each person, you could do it as a team together during a meeting, and that is to be curious about each other. Let me give you an example. Let’s say, Elena, I’m your boss on a team, and I set up 20 minutes, and I call it “trust-building exercise being curious about each other”, and I say “Elena, let’s just try something. I’ve done it in the past. It’s worked really well; it’s enjoyable, I hope, and it helps us learn about each other and how better to work together. And it’s going to take 20 minutes. I’m going to set a timer in the first 10 minutes, I’ll role model, I’ll ask you questions about you, and at 10 minutes we will switch.”

The type of questions I might ask you might be stuff I don’t know about you – questions for which I have no answer. So, I might say to you, “Elena why do you choose to stay on this team?”, and I’m silent and let you talk. “Elena, what does success look like for you at the end of the year in your life?” That’s gonna tell me so much about you. “Elena, what book are you reading right now? Why did you choose it, and what are you getting from it?”. I might say, “Elena have you been through a crisis like Corona before? What did you learn from that previous crisis, and how can it help you as we go through this together?”. So, really no right question, but notice the questions that I’m asking are open questions. You can’t answer yes or no. Notice they’re questions that I don’t already have the answers to. Notice they’re questions where there’s no right or wrong answer, so I’m not putting you on the spot. It’s helping me connect to you – to learn more about you. And then I’m open for the next 10 minutes, and you can ask me anything that you want as long as we keep the questions respectful. And it can be fun.

Elena: Yeah, those are all great, and another thing that comes to mind for me hearing you talk about those is I think even outside of work that those could be great exercises or things to participate in with your personal relationships, family, friends, people that we all have friends, or acquaintances, or people that we frequently interact because we just simply see them every day. Relationships that it might be hard to maintain when you’re also out of work and out of your daily routine. It’s important to maintain all of those other relationships and try to stay connected and talk to those people. And I think this is a great thing that you can do for that, as well.

Jayne: Absolutely, and sometimes if you’re asking these, I would say powerful questions, because of the thinking the other person has to do and because it puts a lot of new information on the table – valuable information. Sometimes, maybe, your employee, especially the employee, might struggle to answer and that might speak to the lower trust in your relationship. They’re worried about opening up too much for you. And that’s why I always suggest the leader goes first. By that I mean it could be that your employee gets to answer questions first, so you can do it either way. I go first by asking the questions to role model what I mean by asking questions, but if you have a low trust relationship, you might want to reverse it. Ask the employee, give them time in advance to think of some questions, and let them go first and you open up and be a bit more vulnerable first, like you go first and open up. Depending on the situation and the relationship you have, it depends on what works best. 

The good thing is, the more you do it, the better you get at it. And, the other key point is, whatever you learn about the other person, write it down. See how you can use that to help the relationship moving forward. If I find out something about you that’s really important for successful you, I’m going to bring that into our conversations in the future because I know it’s important to you. So make sure you don’t forget what they’ve told you.

Elena: Speaking to trust that, it sets the stage to build more trust in the future. If you are showing them you’re being intent and you’re listening with intent to what they’re saying, you’re writing it down and then you’re following up so it’s going to also create that bond by taking those steps in the beginning to just keep building.

Jayne: “I respect that you took the time to share with me and that was important and I really listened, and I, and I really took it on board, and I know it’s important to you”. So yeah! It’s active listening. 

Elena: Can you give two or three top tips to any of our leaders that are watching or listening that they can start using today that will help build trust with their new virtual teams? And what steps can they take to make that a smooth transition?

Jayne: Yeah, good question. I think the first tip I would give is to do what we’ve just talked about –  trust exercises. And, I would start to collect almost like a library of five to ten of them. You could see how easy that was, the one I just shared. 

Another quick example is: ask everyone to choose an artifact from their home life and bring it and talk about it and why it’s important to them. It can be anything, it can be a sports t-shirt. It can be a picture their kid painted. It can be a memento from a grandparent. Something that they get to choose that they share with the team that shares a little about them, and what’s important, or maybe their history. 

There’s another quick exercise where there’s very little preparation. Just give people you know a day’s notice. They can think of something they really want to share, and then everyone just takes turns. And, again, the leader can go first. The leader can go last or in the mix. So, again, build trust. Find ways to proactively increase the speed of trust on your team. And remember, it’s not just trust between you and individuals, it’s trust across the team, it’s with peers because in a truly empowered culture, an environment, there’s high peer accountability. They’re not going to you for answers. They’re not going to you to hold them accountable. They’re going to each other. It’s a building trust across the team it helps transition to more of an empowering community environment. 

Another thing I think people can do particularly during Corona is to use video. We know a lot of people are using Zoom and I’ve kept a close eye on Zoom, we’ve always used it. I’m confident between all the things they may put in place it’s a very, very secure way to work with your team. By using Zoom you get to practice active listening. 

Active listening is one of the coaching skills when we teach leaders at Churchill Leadership Group how to coach. And active listening using a Zoom helps you because you’ve got the actual video so you can pick up more than just what a team member says. You can pick up on visual clues, body language, expressions, whether they are distracted, whether they are about to say something but are holding back, and you have an opportunity to say, “Please I’d love to hear what’s on your mind”. You can’t see that on the telephone. 

Active listening is different from just regular listening in that it’s hard work. You’ve got to give yourself 100%. No distractions, no phone, no background noise, no multitasking, no email open. You’ve got to give yourself 100% of the person in front of you. You’ve got to not interrupt them, let them really finish what they’re saying. You want to avoid judgment in them having an opinion on what they said, whether it’s right or wrong, but just stay curious. Double click to get clarity. You may have shared something with me, Elena, and I’m like, I’d love to know more. But, I’m not going to interrupt you. I’m gonna let you finish because that might give me more. And even at the end, I might say, “So tell me more about this”, or “Why is that important to you? And what does that mean for you when you’re at work, and what do you need from me?” I might want to go deeper. Active listening shows that what I care about what you say, I care why it’s important to you, I’ve really listened without judgment, I might mirror to show that I’m listening to you, so I might take a few keywords that you’ve said and use those to share back, “I think this is what I’ve heard. I think this is what it means we do moving forward”, but I’m going to check in to confirm that I heard you correctly. And by using some of your words, I  might mirror, use mirroring techniques. So, there are some examples of active listening and it’s important because it says, “you’re really important to me, what you say is important in our relationship, and I’m going to use what we’ve discussed to take action to empower and help you moving forward 

Elena: To what you just said about making sure you don’t interrupt people, and you fully hear what they have to say because you might get your answer and your question answered in the meantime, or you might get more information. I personally didn’t realize that I struggled with this problem. I got feedback from one of my supervisors a couple of years ago, and she said to me, “You know, I can tell that you ask questions because you want to know more, you want to understand what the person saying”, and she said, “but you can’t”, she said, “You have to stop interrupting people”, she said, “when they talk. Let them finish, and then ask your question”. And, you know, it’s kind of hard to hear at first because I didn’t realize that people might be distracted, or it might be disrespectful. And she said, “You know, I can tell that it’s because you want to learn and know more, but wait”, and that’s one of the best pieces of feedback I’ve ever received because I didn’t realize how much I did it until the next time it happened that I said, “Oh but wait”, and then I said, “No don’t say anything. Wait till they’re done and then ask”, because like we talked about before – the intent. You know, what’s the intent? The intent was good because I am listening and I want to make sure I’m getting the big picture, but, you know, the impact might be negative for that other person. Again, you might not realize that you do things that might be hard for other people. Always being aware of how you’re communicating and how you can enhance the way that you communicate.

Jayne: Elena, thank you, thank you. Did you find sometimes that when you do let people continue to talk some of your curiosity is answered?

Elena: Yeah, definitely sometimes. I think the way that my brain is, I shift between the big picture and little details. Sometimes I’m honed in on a big picture and sometimes I’m honed in on the details. I think it’s more when I’m being talked to or told about something that I am not familiar with. I’ll ask a lot of detailed questions. I think that’s kind of where that urge comes in. It definitely always helps to hear the rest of what they say, but I usually still want to know more.

Jayne: And thank you again for connecting it to intent versus impact. In some of my certifications that I’ve been through over the years, conversational intelligence we use intent versus impact. But, I also learned it many years ago from my years of yoga practice and using the third eye of recognizing in the moment what’s going on, what’s my intent, but what’s the impact I’m having? My intent is good, but the impact I’m having is not so good. Being really present in the moment and recognizing that is key. Thank you for tying it back to those tips leaders can use at all points. What is my intent here, what is the impact I want to have? And you can use that to prepare before you have a conversation, and you can also use it after the conversation is finished. What was my intent, but what was the actual impact I had? It’s a great measuring tool and it’s simple to use. 

I’m also going to two other quick tips on this initial question of what can leaders do to empower more during Corona? Often assuming that we are working remotely, the first is what great leaders do to focus on the outcomes. Make sure that you’re a team and team members are focused on the result that we need to deliver and why that’s important. Give a strong sense of purpose. Describe what success looks like. How would we measure it? How would we know with how we’re going to measure it what success looks like versus we’re halfway there? Great leaders focus on outcomes and then they give their people the space to do it to achieve that in a way that works for that person because you’re not me, and I might achieve that same outcome in a very different way to you. So, forcing my way on you probably won’t work. Focus on the outcome, and give people the space. Support them with feedback and coaching along the way. That is easier said than done, but, if you can try to practice some of that if you want to know more, we do the Leader as Great Coach program, and we’ll teach you how to do that in-depth. 

Elena: Churchill is deeply connected to providing the right resources and solutions for virtual teams right now. Can you tell us about some programs Churchill is offering to help organizations, leaders, and teams make virtual the new normal? 

Jayne: Yes, and I want to give a call out to our global coaches for this, because for quarter 2 of 2020, we were going to focus very much on providing resources and webinars and education around executive coaching to our audience, to our prospects, and our clients, and there is so much to that. We do executive coaching a lot. We are here for an executive coaching managed service where we provide coaches around the globe for organizations as they need it. We help them do it strategically and measure success, and then we had to pivot, because things changed, and our audience needed something different. And the pivot happened so quickly with our coaches that I’m really proud of them, and that’s why I want to call that out. And we pivoted on one key thing: what do our clients and audience need right now just in time right now? 

There were a couple of things. One is that shift from being in the office to everyone working from home. Now, often our teams are global, so we’re all working in the office, but a manager and some people might be in Omaha; the rest might be in New York. Others might be working from home, but the shift was everyone that works from home, which was quite a shift for most teams. And then the whole organization is doing it, right? My HR partner’s working from home. How do I get hold of them? My boss’s boss is working from home. My customers are working from home. Total shift. 

One of the programs we put together – one of our great coaches Cary, Carylynn – is how to lead a remote team, and there’s lots to that. We do a free version of that, which is available on our website at churchillleadershipgroup.com, and you’ll see there’s a COVID-19 button at the top. There’s a free webinar to learn how to do that. Then, if you and your team want to do that deeper or your department or your organization wants to learn how to do that, there are much deeper, extensive versions of that all delivered by Zoom through experiential learning. 

The second one is, how do I need to change my leadership approach in this situation? We started off this call talking about situational leadership. I am now leading through a crisis, high stress, high worry situation where a lot of change is happening. Leaders want to switch from wherever they were doing, to leadership where they give stability. They give compassion. They build trust, and they give hope. That’s a series of webinars that we offer where we can go deep and tailor it to your organization. We also have a free one hour version, so sign up, learn from it, there’s a lot of great content, a lot of interaction with the audience. Benefit from it. 

The third one is giving leaders – and this is probably more senior leaders – what they need right now. Maybe a leader never led in crisis. Maybe you’ve got leaders in your organization that just need one coaching session or a series of four coaching sessions over a couple of weeks to do something new and do it really well. What we’ve done is just in time coaching, and that comes in to two forms: Power Coaching, where a leader gets coaching over three to four sessions however they want it, and then a Coach’s Corner where a coach is available for a whole day or every morning at certain times and any of your people can sign up and have a coaching session. And these coaching sessions are a safe place, high psychological safety, where it’s confidential and helps the leader work through what they need to so they come out the other end having clearly identified what they need to do, how they need to do it, they’ve got a plan, they’re confident, and they’re off. All of that’s on the website under the COVID page.

Elena: Did you remember the last point you were going to make before?

Jayne: Nope! Sorry. My brain’s too old. I’m sure it’ll come to me when we finish. I’m curious, Elena, I mean, you’ve lived through Corona like all of us so far. Is there anything that you’ve learned that you need, or what you need to lead? Anything you would like to share with the audience?

Elena: One thing that I have discovered that’s definitely helped me be more productive and present that works is to make a schedule for myself, or a routine is a better word. The first kind of week it was, “Oh, you know, I have all this time and there’s nowhere to go”, so it’s easy to get a little bit lazy. And I would say after about a week and a half I was like, “Okay I can’t keep moping around this much. I need to get myself into a routine so I feel like I’m still somewhat living life as I was before”. I started waking up and working out before I would start work, and it really does make me feel more energized because I was able to clear my brain in the morning and do something for myself before sitting here all day. I think that is different for everyone, maybe reading a book or journaling or reflecting, drawing – I think it’s helpful for everyone to find something that lets them chill out in the morning before they start their work. That’s really helped me a lot, and I’ve felt like I can be more productive and have a clearer mind starting my day knowing that I did something right for myself in the morning. That’s definitely helped. Since I started doing that, it has helped a lot, and I definitely noticed a difference. If I had to give one recommendation to the general people that can work for anyone that would be it.

Jayne: Thank you so much. And, what I also heard in that: a theme of wellness, personal wellness, personal resilience and so that’s a good reminder. It wasn’t the thing I forgot, but it is something else you’ve reminded me about, and that is we have two webinars. Again, they’re complimentary, coming up over the next few weeks. One is wellness with mindfulness, which one of our amazing coaches, Laurie, is going to be doing. Then we have another one coming out. We don’t have the date, I don’t think, scheduled yet, and that is wellness through resilience. And resilience means different things for different people. I’ve been through a lot of resilience training myself with change management, and I think there are many ways that people can learn how to become more resilient. It’s not like one size fits all, but there are many best practices, and I think if people out there want to feel stronger, mentally, and know ways, routines, disciplines to be stronger, then they feel so much better for it. 

And to your point, you can be more productive. It helps the individual, but it also helps the organization because if I feel better and stronger, I’m more resilient. I can do better work. Wellness is directly tied, so we’ll be doing some resources there. Keep an eye open for invites on the web page. 

And the thing that I was going to share earlier, that did come back into my brain, is the overall and, hopefully, this is like a good close we come full circle, here is culture. Culture, someone described it to me once, and I like to keep things simple because then I can remember and share it with more people, is culture is: what does it feel like to work around here? My message to leaders, heads of HR, and heads of the business would be: what is the culture that you had before Corona? How well did it serve you? How did it not serve you, and now as you’re working through Corona, and then picture what it’s going to be like in a couple of months, six months, a year from now? What is the culture that you need for your people and your business to thrive? Do you need to make a culture shift? Do you need to prioritize different leadership capabilities, and how do you set yourself up for success with culture shift and the right leadership capabilities that your people have them, are capable, and can lead in that way? I think that’s a big way that we help leaders and teams and organizations with organizational development work that we do. We have a ton of organizational development experts, so if you need help there in how to identify and measure your current culture, how to identify and determine the type of culture you need, and how to make this shift to change management to get there, we would love to partner with you. So, any final words from you, Elena?

Elena: I just want to comment back to that. I think that’s a really powerful statement because,  just like everything else we talked about today, culture is going to change in some capacity but this shift to online for everyone and then the shift back. I think culture is one of those things that people – it’s probably not on the top of people’s radar right now, and while other things are very important, in thinking about how to maintain culture now, but also how to maintain it when you get back and how to make sure your people feel safe – that psychological safety, the environment of trust. I think that is going to be the key player in ensuring all of those things for people from the shift now and in the shift back. And I think that it’s something that people probably should start paying more attention to since it hasn’t been that the number one thing on everyone’s minds right now. I think it’s great that you bring that up and make people more aware and being important. 

Jayne: Thank you, oh you’re welcome. It’s been a delight. Thank you for doing this with me, and thank you for using your strengths in, in the interview, and thanks for sharing. 

Elena: Thank you, Jayne.

Jayne: All right. See you soon. Bye, everyone.

Elena: Bye.

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About Elena
Elena is a double gator with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in International Business from the University of Florida. She holds roles in marketing and business development with her involvement in different organizations. She is passionate about helping others develop their soft skills and interpersonal capabilities for an enhanced and optimized workplace environment. Her top 5 Strengths are Includer, Woo, Connectedness, Belief, Responsibility.

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