The COVID-19 pandemic. It has changed our view on health, mental stress, and the importance of social connections. But also on the way we work, manage and lead.

Millions of people needed to adapt to a new way of working. Our home, the place we normally only have our private lives, has now become a place we invite our colleagues and our bosses, into our homes.

The cat in the background, the toddler who decides she wants to join the meeting, our backdrop in zoom calls show our interior design, we literally have our boss sitting with us at the kitchen table.

I know people who have been working in their kitchen, on a wooden kitchen chair, for over 20 months now. That is the current reality of working places.

What does this mean for leading your teams, managing your people, when we don’t have them around us all day in the office?

The old way of working is gone. The old normal will never return.

Like with any change, oppressed by a pandemic or by choice, it has its pros and cons, to work from home.

But the biggest change in the corporate environment is the way you lead the people that work for you.

It’s a paradigm shift in leadership.

In the midst of the pandemic there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future.

And questions arise about how we manage our teams when we’re in lockdown or partially lockdown.

And what happens after the pandemic?

Do we keep working from home?

Go back 100% to the office?

We have to find the answers to moral and ethical standpoints, for instance: do we accept people back in the office who aren’t vaccinated?

So the real question is: How can we improve our work force with the lessons learned from the last 2 years?

What used to work, doesn’t work anymore.

The way you’ve learned to manage your team is now old news. Back in the day, pre C-19, you had your team around. See them every day. You walk up to someone to have a quick chat about the progress of the project, or have a quick answer to something you needed input for.

You’d meet each other at the coffee machine or water cooler and ask how the weekend was with the kids.

You could see someone in the eye and know that there’s something off today. And act accordingly.

Meetings were all together and you could see who tuned out.

And even then, managing or leading your group could be a challenge. I’ve seen large Fortune 500 corporations having a team of agile coaches to coach the leaders in improving their leadership. Because it’s not easy to lead people.

But now it has become even harder. If Zoom is our only way to see your colleagues have meetings or one-on-ones, we lose a lot of ‘social swagger’ we used to use in our meet-ups.

Instead of ‘can I ask a quick question’ at someone’s desk we now send a Teams chat. Or use WhatsApp. Or any other ‘new’ chat / video call / team collaboration software.

And then there is the performance. How do you keep track of what your team is doing all day?

Are they working? Or are they walking the dog? Are they doing what they are supposed to do, or are they just playing video games in their underwear?

This was an excerpt from the eBook “The Paradigm Shift in Leadership” that you can download for free. Click here to keep reading.

Comfort zone = Confidence Zone

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