Washing machines help us clean dirty clothes. Some of the clothes come out perfectly clean. Others may still have the remnants of a stain that is now barely visible. And then there are some clothes where the machine, no matter how you well it cleans, cannot remove the stain. The stain remains visible to where you will decide to discard that piece of clothing.
Washing machines are also a great metaphor for relationships. All of us are imperfect. We have dirt and stains that need to be cleaned up. As with washing clothes, our relationships need repeated washings to keep them looking good to where they can perform as we need them to. In my personal business coaching practice in The Woodlands business and personal relationships are very often dominate over the topics of sales, operations and profitability.
With the advent of COVID 19, almost a year ago in the United States, there has been a transformation in how we look at ourselves, our relationships, work, and as a society in general. Where pre-COVID we trafficked in a currency of confidence and a “can-do” attitude we now use the currency of fear. Fear shuts down connections. Fear shuts down conversations. Fear shuts down moving forward. Fear isolates us. As social human beings this last one, isolation, is the one that has wreaked the most mental and emotional damage.
Fear causes us to grieve. We grieve because we have lost our sense of normal. We may have lost loved ones, our jobs, or our homes. Grief is the death of something. And fear triggers grief because we have lost our sense of normal and at the same time, as we move forward day by day, we have no sense of certainty about the future. In a way we are afraid to step out and move forward.
Grief is everywhere! Our experience with COVID 19 has and continues to bring us grief. In my business coaching practice and in my own life grief is at the forefront.
Grief is the loss of normal. Grief is the death of something. In the businesses I collaborate as well as many others I know all of us are dealing with grief. What was normal, the way we did things is gone.
And when there is a loss of normal it is replaced by fear. We are grieving because we are fearful about the future. In the United States we are grieving as a society because we miss each other. With COVID 19 we are hearing grief in almost all aspects of our society. Why? We are collectively dealing with the loss of the world we knew.
One of the biggest aspects of the COVID 19 experience is the loss of connection with others. As a business coach, I have witnessed first-hand the challenges and some of the benefits that have come to the various businesses I collaborate with.
Obviously, COVID 19 has disrupted the way we do business and as a result, we now look at how we do business differently. One of the biggest changes is the increased number of people working remotely from home. In some cases, this has increased productivity which is good. Is it sustainable? It all depends on the position, the business, and the industry. I believe it is safe to say that in the future many companies are going to reduce their office footprint and have more people working remotely.
As of today, November 17, 2020 the political climate is very unsettled in the United States. The business owners I collaborate with in my business coaching practice in The Woodlands and Houston are moving forward. But for each it is different. Some are striding forward with confidence and a “we shall overcome” attitude. Others are moving forward with less certainty. In Texas, where I live and work, the economic situation because of the pandemic has been hurtful but overall, we are doing well.
The question is, depending on who wins the election, what are the policies regarding COVID 19 and the economy moving forward. In Texas, with a great emphasis on oil and gas there is a great deal of uncertainty. Millions of lives and livelihoods could be affected over the next few years. Employers and employees feel unsettled.
Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus has changed all of our lives significantly. We have never seen something like this. The medical impact can be frightening. And the economic impact, remains to be seen, but it could be disastrous.
Instead of writing about personal development, self-improvement, personal growth and leadership which are areas in which I collaborate with others in my personal business coaching practice, I believe it is best to share some thoughts that may support you as we go through a time where in many cases, and you can include me, our lives have been turned upside down. A time where fear and panic, the two horsemen of relationship and societal destruction are running wild.
In previous posts, we have looked at gratitude, happiness and serving others and how your self-talk can guide you in these areas. Also, we have looked at an essential element of your mindset for successful networking. You must focus on what you can control, which is you and your thoughts. Do not focus on what you cannot control, which is others.
Part of the control issue is that when we first network with someone there can be a tendency to have a “fixer upper attitude” or “I am here to help.” While both of these may sound good, they actually can work against you and your goal of building deeper relationships through networking.
In the last post, we looked at gratitude, happiness and serving others and how your self-talk can guide you in these areas. The result of your networking will be to increase the odds of building deeper relationships.
In this post we will go under the hood of self-talk, so to speak and explore the mindset that is necessary to good self-talk which will manifest itself in a positive way to others allowing your networking to accomplish its primary goal, to build deeper relationships.