By Elisabeth Goodman, 25th January 2017
We are in the midst of change
Our readers will not need us to spell out the nature of the changes that they are currently facing! Change brings uncertainty. Some of us will be quite relaxed and happy to wait for developments. Others will yearn for greater certainty, involvement and control.
Here are a few things that you might already be doing for yourself, and also some others that you could consider…
(RiverRhee works with managers and teams, so those are who we are targeting in this newsletter – but many of our tips can of course apply to anyone at work or in their home life.)
Look after your physical and mental health
We all have things that help us to feel better. Some, like food, drink or going for a walk have short-term benefits. Longer-term benefits could be gained from spending social time with colleagues, friends and family, focusing on doing your work to the best of your ability, or developing a new area of expertise.
Volunteering to organise a team building activity, finding ways to help colleagues, joining a workplace representation group – these are all things that could help you to feel more involved and so better able to cope with the uncertainty around you.
(I myself do a range of volunteer work, and recently donated, through RiverRhee via the Work for Good platform to Red Balloon – Cambridge, a charity that helps young people who have been bullied or suffered other trauma which means they are no longer in full time education.)
Whatever the approach, it has to be the one that is best for you. You will know what that is.
Remember what’s important to you – and focus on your strengths
I have recently written a blog on how to help people discover what they enjoy doing the most at work, and how they can do more of that. Sometimes just concentrating on what you do well, your strengths, can provide a much needed oasis until the desert sands have
stopped blowing around you. This kind of coaching is something that RiverRhee Associates can support.
The same can be true for a team: focusing on its current purpose, and on how to do that well, will help to channel people’s energy and develop good practices to work from, whatever the future might bring. This kind of team building, with team diagnostics and workshops is something that we support, and indeed did so with a local team during December.
Connect with your internal and external networks
This is a really important role for managers, and one that they will be best able to focus on when their team has achieved ‘high performance’: when team members have attained a certain level of autonomy. The team’s stakeholders (customers, suppliers, senior managers, professional peers etc.) will be an important source of information during periods of uncertainty. They will also be key people to influence and negotiate with in terms of the team’s future.
Dan Ciampa, in a December 2016 article in Harvard Business Review (“After the handshake. Succession doesn’t end when a new CEO is hired”, p.60) emphasises the importance of building effective relationships with key stakeholders for CEOs who want to effect change. The same is true for any level of manager who wants to have some level of influence over the fate of their team, at any time. As Ciampa points out, understanding the “political dynamics” at work is a key factor for success. Another factor is understanding the values and working practices that might influence any decision making (the culture). A manager’s awareness of these will grow the more she keeps in touch with her internal and external networks.
Take advantage of free external events and networking opportunities
Free events or networking meetings could provide a welcome distraction from brooding about uncertainty! They could also provide some very helpful information about the change, or other resources to help you cope with it.
We hope that our upcoming event at Babraham’s new conference centre, The Cambridge Building, on Thursday 2nd February – What is your relationship with time? – will provide you with all of these benefits, and look forward to seeing you there. If you cannot make it, but would like to explore this topic and associated ‘personality productivity’ resources, do get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spend time on personal development and on developing the team
Periods of uncertainty can also be a good time to focus on developing personal and team skills that will be valuable to make use of in the future – whatever that might be.
We have a wide range of coaching and training opportunities for managers and teams, several of which will be running in February and March, and for which we still have spaces available. These include:
- Introduction to Management – 14th-16th March
- Introduction to Lean and Six Sigma – 21st February
- The First Steps in Selling – 22nd February
- Introduction to Project Management – 23rd February
- Managing Change – 28th February
We also had a very positive response to our “Good Practices in Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration” on-site course with CILIP which we ran three times last November, and look forward to opportunities to run it again during 2017.
“The foundational principles of Knowledge Management were clearly explained.”
“The interactive nature was welcome.”
“Delivery was excellent”
“Good, well structured.”
“Real life examples”
We look forward to exploring how we can help you thrive during these times of uncertainty
Do get in touch if you would like to find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house workshops and one-to-one coaching, and how we can help you to create exceptional managers and teams. See the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail the author at email@example.com.