Getting Back to the Future in the Workplace: What is “Normal”​?

I am certain many of you have either heard or even used the term “The New Normal” in reference to the current climate regarding work environments and our personal lives.

This begs the question, can we really define what is normal?

I mean, come on… this last two plus years has been anything BUT normal. A pandemic, virtual meetings, zoom fatigue, isolation, navigating work from home, fears of the many unknowns, and just plain craziness all around!

Impossible to deny, really.

So, where does this leave us, besides feeling a bit shell-shocked, to say the least?

For myself, it means gaining a hyper self-awareness of what change has done. Change is often resisted, feared, and avoided at all costs. Yet if we welcome the opportunity to see through a new lens, perhaps it isn’t so bad?

Leading with vulnerability, empathy, and awareness of the fact that the distractions and “new” happenings/things that we are all calling normal aren’t so new after all might just be the beginnings of a solution.

We have called the virtual meeting space “new”, but really, many Sales Professionals have been meeting virtually for decades! There used to be a little thing called a telephone, (as opposed to the cell phone we all have a love/hate relationship with), and some people were using skype for years prior to the pandemic.

Now, I get that having the amazon delivery guy ringing the doorbell, the dog jumping on your lap and onto the laptop keyboard, and your three year old screaming and crying from the next room all at once while you are on zoom with your colleagues trying to run a meeting can not only be a distraction, but exhausting, too. We are all human, after all. In addition, we needed some time to adjust to those things because more than two years ago, those things were definitely not the norm. At least while you were working. And you certainly did not have the added stress of feeling as though you are being examined like a slide under a microscope due to being on camera all day long!

But now? Now, these things are just the way it is for most, and they are not going anywhere either. Virtual meetings, adjusting to working from home, being out of and now going into, (even if at limited capacity) the office, meeting both virtually, and now, thankfully easing our way back to in-person meetings and events…it is just the way of things.

So, how do we get “back to the future”?

We stop. We breathe.

Organization leaders and teams recognize that we are all human beings being human. We lead with a true sense of caring. We take a step back and accept that the way we do business has evolved to here, and will be in a constant state of flux. We see that we must move fluidly with the changes, and when stilted or stuck, just float and breathe.

Most importantly, we begin to see, really SEE the people around us. We observe where we can improve, where we need to grow, and we remember that it takes a village. We work to regain connections and to show value. We see value in the worth of every cog in the wheel, every human on a screen, every person at a desk. We value the worth of each individual that makes our organizations run.

We must reconnect, re-engage, and return to the future as it should be.

I repeat. We are all human beings being human.

Thanks for reading… Connect and engage, people!

Much Love,

Betty Monroe