All businesses face challenges, and when they catch us by surprise, or are especially large, it can be hard to figure out what action to take.
When crisis hits, we usually have to be reactive. We adapt to a new situation, perhaps a new world view – potentially even a new normal.
Then as the dust settles, we can shift back into being proactive. When that time comes, it can help to ask ourselves three questions:
- What am I spreading?
- What do I want to look back on?
- What am I looking forward to?
1 :: What am I spreading?
Almost everything spreads – viruses, great ideas, fake news, cat pictures.
We’ve all experienced it – the person who darkens every room they enter. The person that always seems to lift us up, no matter how bad our day has been.
‘Emotional Contagion’ is a thing. We are influenced by the attitude and behaviour of the people around us.
Of course, this also means that we can affect the people around us. Do we want to make things better or worse? We get to choose, and in challenging times, the choices we make can have a huge effect. Do we want to add to the negative noise, or send out a supportive signal?
We are contagious.
What are you spreading?
2 :: What do I want to look back on?
In addition to monitoring our attitude and emotions, we also need to think about our actions during times of difficulty.
Are we the one who steps up and takes responsibility? Or the person who puts their head in the sand and hopes it will all go away?
If we think about the current Covid-19 situation and how will affect business, we cannot yet predict the long-term effects. At some point, however, we will come out the other side. And when we do – when we look back on these times – how will we assess our actions? Will we be proud of how we were agile and rolled with the punches, using the extra time to level up or diversify? Will it be a time where businesses find new ways to communicate and cooperate?
Or will we remember it as the year where we set Netflix records?
What do you want to look back on?
3 :: What am I looking forward to?
This is a tough one, because the truth is that not all businesses will weather the storms they face. Nothing lasts forever, and whatever challenges we are facing, it pays to keep our perspective – sometimes a crisis can help us do that.
Pay attention to what your head, your heart and your gut are telling you, and take some time to think about the messages you’re getting. Grab a pen and paper, and write it down. This will help you get clarity, and give you something to reference – something to hold you accountable.
Are you prioritising the right things?
How is your work/life integration?
What do you want to focus on in the future?
If you want to reach your destination, you have to plan your route.
[But don’t forget to enjoy the journey along the way!]
What are you looking forward to?