Ok. Obviously, anyone that knows me understands this is not ever completely true but I am experiencing something that is different.
After being basically home 95%+ of the time since March 14th, I’m feeling very unmotivated. With the groundhog repetitive nature of life right now, I’m not feeling very creative nor inspired. Now combine that with limited opportunities to be exposed to new ideas, thoughts or work related rants…well, I am left wondering what I could write about. Hence “nothing to say” – so might as well explore this dynamic.
I have always valued interactions. Some of my biggest ideas/experiments have come while listening/seeing something even if it is not directly related. Some people get their best ideas in the shower or while exercising; I seem to have them when interacting with others. Sure, I’m detailed oriented person that loves a checklist. This means I’m getting lots done during this time but they are tasks; not creative new work. And although that gives me temporary happiness with each checkmark, I do not get the innovation high.
I’m trying to think if I’ve ever really experienced this before. I remember a time when I didn’t want to work (after my son died) but not a time when I couldn’t experience the interaction that motivates me. Without the choice right now, I’m beginning to experience an indifference to things. What should I talk about…nothing. What should I do…nothing. Not great. Don’t worry, I’m still laughing and ok. I’m just being super transparent and highlighting only the elements around this topic. I have not lost all hope, etc…so all good there. I promise.
I wanted to share about this because a new perspective popped up on what I should consider as a leader. What if someone I’m working with is in this space – when we are not dealing with a pandemic? Now obviously this has happened in the past but the new part is that I may have the ability to relate better than I ever could before – so how would this reinforce and/or change my response going forward?
- Don’t pretend/ignore. I want to acknowledge what is happening and it feels odd when people just avoid the discussion.
- Don’t dismiss/trivialize. Telling me right now to just be “positive” is like putting an additional weight on me. Great not only do I feel bad but now I feel guilty for not just being better.
- Offer assistance. I’m not qualified to help someone with these dynamics but I should be able to point people to assistance options (numbers, places, etc).
- Give various ideas/experiments of approaches. What if I try to partner on this? What if we do this in a group? What if we do this individually first? What if we do this outside? What if we …? Be willing to try a few things to see what helps.
- Embrace that there are positives that could result from this place. As much as I don’t like to admit this…things do come from the quiet. How do we leverage this space for increasing the wisdom of the crowd? They have a different view that might be the very thing others need to hear.
What might you do when people are processing something?