Physical Distance and Covid-19
Originally posted by our partners at Leadership Circle
As the world continues to learn more about COVID-19 and more about how the virus is spread, many leaders are navigating the confusing waters of how we connect without connecting.
According to the New York Times, health ministers in France have asked citizens to stop the two-kiss greeting. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has encouraged a greeting of “namaste”, instead of a handshake. In the New York town of New Rochelle, a Hebrew Institute suspended circle dancing and kissing the Torah.
So, how do we as a society find new ways of connecting that don’t involve physical presence? Many country leaders are initiating new greetings — air kisses instead of ones on the cheek, pats on the back instead of handshakes, elbow bumps instead of fist bumps, and even tapping feet together instead of high-fives are starting to become the new norm. This creativity can become part of your future culture.
In a world moving more towards flexible work environments and remote workers, keeping our interpersonal connections in a time where physical connection isn’t possible may be as simple as looking at how we connect with our remote teams.
Take time to reach out to team members virtually. Send a text or pick up the phone and call them directly. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy conversation, but just one in which your team feels heard. This is a chance for leaders to connect more intentionally with their teams — use it to your advantage. This may sound like extra work, but this will pay dividends in the long run. Exercise this with intention.
Become clearer in your virtual communication. Body language and other social queues can be lost in virtual environments, so stating and restating your intentions goes a long way.
Using technology to your advantage to scale business. Leverage current and new digital platforms to move into a flexible and agile interface that not only connects but combines the custom needs of business across industries, which can open up space for real transformation.
Utilize the Conscious Practice of Leadership. Check-in with yourself daily to determine who you need to be as a leader for your team, as this will naturally change in times of uncertainty.
Though human beings naturally crave physical connection, complex times like these remind us to step outside of our usual way of doing things, towards a more innovative approach so that we not only survive but thrive.