What Comes Next in Our Business Lives?

Posted Jun 26, 2020

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Summary

Get expert tips to help you cope, whether returning to work outside your home, or continuing to work remotely.


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Hello, everybody, and welcome to What Comes Next in our Business Lives? My name is Gracie Lichtenstein, and I'm going to be your facilitator for today's session. I'm really glad that you're here. Let me tell you why, there are a couple of reasons. The first is, I'm a holistic psychotherapist, and I've been doing this work for 22 years. I've actually surpassed the 20 year mark, 22 years. In that time, I've been doing therapy and coaching, consulting and training and speaking, and I've worked with organizations and individuals in 49 states and in 13 foreign countries, helping them become healthier, more productive, and reduce their stress.

Oh, my goodness, do we need to be focusing on that right, now, right? Okay. I'm glad that you're here because this is kind of my thing. The other reason that I'm glad that you're here, is that we are going to have an opportunity, I'm going to give you a whole bunch of concepts, some tools, some ideas about how we're navigating this next phase of our lives, and I'm going to give you an opportunity to actually start putting pen to paper, actually start thinking about the concepts, applying them to your situation for yourself individually, for your team, and then sharing those.

Hopefully, we can get some really good ideas, best practices, brainstorming type of thing. We're having a little bitty mastermind here today. I'm really excited that you're here. I'm always just thrilled with what people come up with, no pressure, no pressure. But I'm always thrilled with the ideas that people come up with, that they're able to share. Excited to see what you're going to bring here today.

Now, for my part, the content that I'm going to be putting out there, it's really cool that I've been doing this for so long. The problem with the fact that I've been doing this so long is that everything that I say, it makes perfect sense to me, in my head. It doesn't mean it makes sense to you in your head. At any point, if I say something you have a question about it, or you have a question in general, if you have a comment, if you want to share resources, we're going to be doing that today. Even if you completely disagree with what I have to say, if you can let me know that, that would be awesome. Please, let's use that chat feature bunches and bunches and bunches.

This really is not content heavy today. This is, like I said, like brainstorming, a little mini mastermind. I really want to make sure that everybody walks away with something that's beneficial to them. Let's go ahead and use that chat. Don't wait till the end, go ahead and do it as we're going through, probably because I don't want you to forget that brilliance you want to share. The other thing is, is that I really want to be able to respond to any of your questions or comments as best I can, and context helps with that. If I say something, it prompts a thought or a question for you. You throw something in the chat, I'll see it. I'll finish saying what I'm saying, and then I can go ahead and respond and probably get a better response because I know the context, I know what prompted it.

Let's make sure we go ahead and use that as a resource, and let's go ahead and get started. Like I said, I'm going to go ahead and give you a bunch of content here, and then we're going to be applying it. Hold on just a second, I moved my mouse. There we go. Okay, now let's talk about life right now.

Oh, my goodness. Now, in terms of early history, we've had major life disruptions before. Great Depression, World War II, September 11. With things, they changed. We had stuff before this event, and then the event occurred and then life was different after that. What we're experiencing now is... I know we've said this a gazillion times, it's unprecedented. We have not experienced what we're experiencing internationally as a world and as a country. Everything is changing, whether it's due to the pandemic, whether it's the focus on institutionalized racism, whatever it is, things are different.

Even the Great Depression, World War II, 9/11. But the reason I point this out is that we have a history of this, that we can go ahead and look at how we went through these situations, these events, and we were changed pretty deeply in many ways. Our cultural norms, or cultural rules, our focus, our identity, our economy, how we do work, it all changed. A lot of it was for the better. I'm not trying to be all motivational poster, this is great. What a fabulous opportunity. It is, but I'm not trying to, like I said, be very flippant about this. We can go ahead and take this situation, these events, and if we're purposeful about it, we can make change that is for the better.

We've done it, we've done it in the past. Not dealing with change to this extent, but we have done in the past. What are we going to do? We are at a time now where we get to make that decision, okay? I want you to go ahead and do, and I want you to think about, I want you to look at this process, and be really purposeful. We want to get out of that survival mode. Back in March, maybe some of us back in February, some of us, April, we started going, "Okay, we're going to do this."

My daughter, who would go ahead and close school for two weeks or three weeks because it's spring break, and then you'll be back. We were waiting, maybe a little bit in survival mode because this is really scary. Well, it obviously lasted way beyond that. Then all the other things that are coming up, like I said, the focus on institutionalized racism, and things like that. We can't be in survival anymore, we have to go ahead and recognize... Again, I apologize, how many times do we use the phrase, the new normal? We have to recognize the change has occurred, it is occurring and will continue to occur. Let's go ahead and use that to our advantage.

How do we go ahead and do that? The first thing is, is that we recognize that we won't go back to a previous normal. That doesn't exist anymore. We can't unlearn what we know now. We can't unexperience. I don't even know if that's a word, is that a word? We can't unexperience what we've experienced. We can't unlose what we've lost.

One of the other webinars I was doing today is on grief and loss and we've all lost something. If it's even as mundane as we've lost our routine to as significant as a death loss. We can't unlose that. It has impacted... Now, would we like to, a lot of us? Absolutely, we'd like to go back to the way it was before. Our nice, safe, normal routine. The problem is we can't. We can't unlose, we can't unexperience, we can't unlearn. The way it was, it's simply it doesn't exist anymore.

We have to go ahead and recognize that the future is going to be different. Now, the beautiful thing is because these situations that we find ourselves in, they're not acute. It's not like, okay, this is happening on this day and this time, then it's over. Because this is long-term, this is a big picture event, we do have some control, we do have some power over what that future is going to look like.

A lot of us have been very reactive. We're in survival, we're reacting to the situation. But the beautiful thing is we don't have to, because we're in this situation, and we're going to be in these situations today and tomorrow, and the next day. Because these changes are going to be occurring, not just for the next few days, weeks, months, but years, we can go... It's like changing the system from within. We can go ahead and modify these processes, because we're in them, and actually gotten to do real time change, which is to be overwhelming, but it's really cool because how often in life do we have this experience? This really is a rare opportunity for growth. I know again, it sounds like a motivational poster, but it is absolutely true.

There's the thing in the mental health field, we grow at the speed of pain. It's really true. Because think about it, when do we learn and grow the most? When we're uncomfortable. When we're comfortable, we want to sit there. Sit in it, be comfortable. The thing is that typically we don't learn and grow unless we're being very purposeful about it, and sometimes we just need to be shaken up to be purposeful.

For example, now, before I tell you this, I just want to put out there that I am a parenting expert, legit. I'm trained in this. I have training in human development and family systems. I used to run a family program. I've been a nanny. I've been a preschool teacher. I'm the stuff when it comes to parenting, and I have to tell you, I have become more aware and more involved, emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally too in parenting my 11 year old daughter than I have since she was born, because I was forced to. I was encouraged to by the situation. I was forced to, let's be honest, right? Everything changed.

I started looking at things like my reactions, my interactions, my decisions, my communication, my emotional responses is her emotional responses, [inaudible 00:10:17] all the same things, I have become more aware of my parenting since she was an infant.

I wish it hadn't taken a pandemic for this to occur, and that's what happened. When we're looking at this, we're being shaken out of our normal, we're being shaken out of our comfort zone. We're being forced to be in a different place, which isn't a bad thing. So many of us, we've been in a routine for a long time. Think about it, six months ago, you probably had your morning routine and then you had your work routine, and then you had your after work routine, and then you had your mandatory fun routines. We do that day after day and week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. While it's nice and safe and secure, after a while, it's definitely healthy. We're stagnating. Well, now we've been booted out of that rut, and we're in the position where it can be very, very purposefully. We are aware, we grow at the speed of pain, we're uncomfortable with all this change.

This really is hopefully, once in a lifetime opportunity for growth. How are we going to go ahead and use it? We want to go ahead and when we're looking at this, we want to be purposeful about what we want to reinvent. We don't want to change just for change’s sake. Up to this point, it's been change for change sake, in terms of We have to do something. Well, now let's go ahead and think about it. Let's think about the processes. Everything from how we interact to how we complete our tasks, to how we communicate, how our policies and procedures, our protocols, our goals, our management styles, what has been working? What have we realized hasn't been working? Have you noticed that you're becoming more aware of some things that haven't been working and they haven't been working for a really long time?

A number of my colleagues are career coaches. Starting... This is probably like mid April, end of April, I called a couple of them just to say, "Hey, how are you doing?" Something... My poor friends, they're career coaches, they don't have any work. Because who changes jobs in a pandemic, right? Every single colleague of mine that I contacted, they were like, "Yep, I have a waiting list." But what do you mean you have a waiting list? What was happening is, is that when people got out of their rut, and they're looking at this situation, and they're like, "You know what, that doesn't work for me." A lot of people were recognizing that the dynamic in the workplace was unhealthy. A number of people were like, it's downright abusive.

When we get kicked out of that rut, and we see things differently, we can go ahead and use it. Now we have a better idea in many ways of what we want, what works for us, what doesn't work for us. I don't want everybody to go ahead and contact a career coach and quit your job, what I do want you to do is now that you're from that different perspective, you're not in the rut, you're looking at it from a different perspective, what works? What policies, procedures, protocols, cast, goals, communication and rut, all these things and what doesn't work?

What are we going to go ahead and take with us? Now is the time, like I said, we're in it, we're in the process, now's a great time to go ahead and do it. There are a couple of other things, but now's a really good time. I'm going to give you some brain stuff. I love brain stuff. I think all of us have heard it takes 30 days to create a habit. That's not exactly true. On average, it takes 66 days to create a new habit, but that's a really long time, and that might freak you out, so forget I said that, okay?

What the 30 days is, is that that's how long it takes for the brain to change. The problem is that even though we might be doing something every day, if we're doing it reactively out of survival mode, it doesn't necessarily stick. Some of these things that we've been in survival mode, some of these things that we've been doing, we might not have created into a habit just yet. The critical time is now, when we're still in transition, we're still looking at the change. When now, when everything's out the window anyway, and everything's up for grabs, hey, let's go ahead and consider it. Now is the best time to be making change and doing it purposely, not out of survival.

The purpose is, when we get back to a sense of stability, again, whenever that is, we can already have these new habits, we can already have these new perceptions and patterns ingrained and habituated. Now is an amazing time. We're going to start doing this today. Like I said, at the very end, you all are going to be writing stuff down and sharing. Okay, now is the time to do it. We don't want to be reactive and in survival, we want to be purposeful about how we want to go ahead and habituate ourselves, our brains, and habituate the system.

I'm a huge systems theorist. Basically, what that means is, what is without is within, and what is within is without. What happens in our system but it impacts us individually. If we're in a healthy system, that impacts us in a healthy way. The opposite is true as well. Then what do we bring to the system? We're in it. It's easiest to change it when we're in it. This isn't just what we're habituating, but we're also we're habituating the system, we can go ahead and make change now.

Like I said, everything's out the window, and everything is up for grabs, now's the time. We'll be more successful about this, and we'll be more aware of it. Those are the general lessons. How do we go ahead and do this? I want to go ahead and give you a guideline about how we're going to go ahead and be putting our resources, our time, our energy, our focus into this change. Every day counts. We don't want to be reactive anymore, we want to be active participants.

In the example I was using earlier with my daughter, I'm going to become more aware on a day to day basis of what my actions will be. All that stuff I described earlier, every day is part of that habituation. Every day is my choice to be the best parent I can be. Now, I wasn't a bad parent before. Well, I hope I wasn't a bad parent before, but now I get to go ahead and look at every single day. The other thing is, is that we're looking at every single day, that's a lot easier to focus on versus this is a good picture of what's going to happen, when and how it's going to happen, and okay.

We're going to be focusing on what we need to go ahead and do today, on a daily basis. This also reduces a lot of stress, by the way, because sometimes that big picture, it's too big, it's too overwhelming. What can we go ahead and do today? One of the things that I want you to be very aware of, and we're going to talk about this more in just a little bit, be aware of the big picture, all these other things, but the most concrete stuff is, okay, what are we doing today? In terms of behaviors and stuff like that? Every day counts.

One of the things I'm going to go ahead and do is we want to create that habituation. We want to do something purposely, not reactively, I want to do something purposely every single day for these things we want to accomplish. Because that's how we reprogram our brain. We actually hardwire our brain, like water erodes rock, we do that inside of our heads too. Every day gets us toward that. If you do something for two or three days... This is why New Year's resolutions don't work. We do them for three or four days and then [inaudible 00:18:22] You have to do it, something every day for 30 days.

Every day counts, and when we're focusing on that it reduces a lot of stress, it refines our focus, it makes it very clear, where we're going to put our energy into. Then we're putting into the context of one week, maybe two weeks. Because otherwise it gets really, really big. When we're setting our goals, we get to go ahead and change how we do goals. Now, we have big goals, absolutely. We're really focusing on those things that we can truly imagine. Because here's the thing, if we can't imagine it, if we can't visualize it, it's really hard for us to work toward it, it's really hard for our brain to process it. It's really hard for us to make decisions.

Even with all these changes, for the most part, we can go ahead and look throughout the rest of the week, maybe two weeks, but at the very least. This way we can actually imagine it. The other thing is, is that as we've been very purposeful about all these things, and we're planning things out, we can test out a week. That's pretty realistic. With wiggle room for adjustments and things like that.

For the practical application of other behaviors and stuff, a week is pretty good. Then each day of the week, we focus on that day, because we really don't want to do the long-term planning. We can have the general goals and things like that and be aware of that, but we're not relying on it, especially in terms of things like deadlines.

A really good example of those, I was talking to a client yesterday, I think, and they're building their offices in a building in downtown Chicago, I think it's only about 35 storeys or something, and they have one major elevator rank. They were starting to implement the return to work when somebody said, "How do we... " Because their office is up on the 12th and 14th floors. Do we need to take the stairs when we get into work? Because I don't think I can do 14 slides, by the way.

They're like, "Oh, we need to check into that." Now this building has over 7,500 employees that work in the building. This will include customers and everybody else that comes through. They contacted the management company saying, "By the way, how are we going to go ahead and deal with the elevator situation?" They were like, "What we're planning on doing is that we're going to go ahead and put the limits, social distancing, where there's only four people per elevator, because it's right about... If everybody gets in a corner, that's right about six feet. Not quite, but pretty close. They'll have a mask and when they get on, they go to a corner and they face putting their nose into the corners, they're facing the walls." More people, that's how they're going to do it.

They said, "We have to separate people out as they're waiting for the elevators, especially during the peak times. So, 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning and 4:30 to 5:30 at night." They said, "But, we're expecting it's going to take probably 45 minutes to an hour for everybody to just safely get through during these peak times. My client's like, "Well, okay, well, I think we're just going to continue working from home for a while until we can figure out how we can even get in the elevator."

They're being aware of all the things, but they're not setting a date on it necessarily. As you're looking at this, we know what we want to accomplish, we don't want to completely ignore those goals, but we're not setting deadlines on them. We can have those general things because, as you know, that can be really stressful, setting those deadlines.

We're limiting those long term deadlines. Still have the goals, still have the outcomes we're looking for, and we want to go ahead.... Now, with the bullet point says live in the world of total flexibility. Now, I'm a little bit of a control freak. Let me say, I'm a lot of a control freak, a little bit of a perfectionist, and the idea of total flexibility just seems too stressful to me. I've reframed it in my head, in terms of I've become an expert at adaptation. Because I don't know why, I just like that phrase a little bit better, and we're not to be totally flexible. There's too many things, there's too many feelings going on, there's too much stuff that we can't control. Having said all that, think about it, you know this, companies that are more nimble, are more successful. Companies that can adjust and adapt and are flexible to the needs of what is going on, are more successful.

One of the things that we get to go ahead and take with us, is that flexibility. I used to do a lot of productivity assessments for companies. I'm guessing I'm going to be doing a lot of those at some point in the future again, because of all this stuff going on. But one of the things that would happen is when I would go in I would assess certain things. I'd look at their policies and procedures as protocols, all the stuff that was written out about how they did things, and I'd say, "Okay, Why do you do this, this way? Why do you have this P and P, why do you have this protocol in place?"


If the response is, "I don't know, that's what we've always done." My head just exploded, because that's not a good answer. Now, if you found the absolute best way to do something, the perfect way to do it... Well, you keep doing that, but it's unlikely. We don't want to do things because that's what we've always done, we want to have a legitimate reason, a purpose for this. That's what we're given right now, we have to go ahead and assess almost everything right now.

We do want to take this flexibility with us. We want this to be one of our core values, our core attributes so we can continue adjusting and adapting and not doing things because that's what we've always done. The companies that are most nimble, are the most successful. A couple of examples, remember back in 2008, with the recession and stuff like that, MetLife separated, small office due to its life insurance business. They'd have for like 140 years, including getting rid of Snoopy. If you haven't seen Snoopy, the MetLife stuff since 2008, believe it or not, and they became better.

Look at Bill Gates, the switch from software to the internet, a completely different business model. Look what happened? We entered this new era with some considerable strengths that position us to lead very well. That's exactly what we're trying to do. We can go ahead and do that as an organization. Now, this is when the rubber hits the road, okay, folks? This is all about you from this point on.

What I'm going to go ahead and do is I'm going to give you opportunity, we're going to go over each of these questions, I'm going to have you start thinking about it, I'm going to give you a few minutes to think about it, write notes, stuff like that, and then come back and share with each other, what you think is going to work for you, what has been working. We're doing a little mini mastermind here, we're doing some brainstorming, best practices.

If this is what you've experienced and what I've just shared with you, those basic concepts, things like that. Now, we're going to go a little bit out of order here, just because I'm in charge, so I can go ahead and do that. I want to go ahead and have you start with... I want you to write this down. A couple of reasons, if you don't write it down, you're going to forget it. Storing things in our memory, not the best place a lot of times, especially when we're stressed out.

The other thing is, now if you have a note taking app that you're going to use, that you really love. Okay, I would prefer, not a requirement, I would prefer that you hand write it out, versus typing or anything else. The reason is, is that when you write things out by hand, it actually activates more of your brain, including things like memory. This is why, I don't know if you know this, most public school systems in the US don't teach cursive handwriting, which is very upsetting to me. Not because I want everybody to have good handwriting, but because that helps brain function.

I'm based out of Chicago, the state of Illinois a couple of years ago actually passed legislation saying they're going to teach cursive in schools again, which made me really happy. We couldn't get the budget, but at least we got that. It was a good thing. If you can, I would prefer that you write it out, but it's not requirement, I just want to participate, basically.


What I'd like you to go ahead and do is think about this, and I want you to write down what have you learned from this experience? I'm going to give you all two minutes for each of these questions. The first question we'll just start off with is what have I learned from this experience? Two minutes, write it down, and then we're going to come back and share what we have. What have you learned from this experience? Write it out. Two minutes. Go.

Nice, we're not even admitted into it, I already has some people sharing. Okay, one person brought up, be more flexible and listen to others more. Another person wrote, self-care, nice. As it's coming through, you can go ahead and type it in the chat. Patience, nice. Think before I speak. We could all learn from that, right? I like this one too, this goes along with the self-care like this, it's okay to slow down. Nice, I see a couple of those. Oh my gosh, you guys are my favorite group this week. These are great. Let's go back up here. It's okay to slow down but slowing down and losing all the outside activities [inaudible 00:29:21] to focus on each other as a family more. Right, exactly.

Oh my goodness, I'm not as resilient as I thought. That's a powerful insight, isn't it? Nice. Life is unpredictable. Uh-huh. Adapt since things are not going back to normal, nice. I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. It's lovely. Here's one, I lOVE, all caps, working from home. A lot of people do. Be patient, adapt to a new normal. Working from home is good because a lot more companies... Have you heard Twitter? I don't know if you've heard Twitter, they made the decision that for anybody that wants to work from home, forever, after this, they can. Now, with their product, they can go ahead and do that. But some people really love working from home.

Be more encouraging, nice. This is good one, being afraid of the unknown can paralyze you. Can paralyze your thought process, your productivity work at home. It's easy to slide into a dark place, even if there isn't a history of depression.

Okay. Yes, and this is not a planned part of today's discussion, folks. I'm a mental health professional, please get the support right now. What we're going through is triggering so much for so many people. The cool thing is, is that workplaces are starting to recognize this as well, and this is really bringing it to a head. Yes, thank you for looking at that because mental health stuff is huge, good. Take one day at a time. Yeah, that's hard though, isn't it? Okay. Slow it down.

Slowing down, have you observed the paradox that slowing down makes you more productive? How cool is that? Okay, I like this, respect for others. For the person that wrote that, respect for others, can you expand upon that a little bit more? I'd like to hear your thought process on that, respect for others. Think twice before what you do. Yeah, more being purposeful about it. We can go ahead and do that. Okay, somebody gets a gold star here, structure in my day, scheduled breaks, solid start and end times. Yes. If this is one of the things that you take back with you into the next phase of our life, make sure that you have, as best as you can, the solid start and end times, but also the scheduled breaks.

Have you heard sitting is the new smoking? If we're sitting down all day, it's really unhealthy. Make sure that you're taking a break every 30 to 60 minutes, seriously, every 30 to 60 minutes. It's just a break for a couple of minutes. It's not a 15 minute break. We need to go ahead and do that. Yes, good, good, good. I like this, to communicate on a more regular basis due to not being in the office. Be more flexible with employees. Okay, I like this because a lot of times, we think that when we're in the office, we're communicating a lot more, but a lot of times it's not productive communication. A lot of times what we're doing now is more productive, because it's more purposeful. I like that, communicate [inaudible 00:32:25] Good, okay.

Be kinder to myself. A lot of us are beating ourselves up, right? Nice. Be more empathetic and try not to be transactional, try to connect with the other person. Okay, folks, think about it, if we take all these things that we've learned, and we take them and incorporate them back into our next phase of our life, how much better Are we going to be at our jobs and with our teams? Nice. I have more time on my hands than I originally told myself. I'm guessing that you're finding the ways to be productive and reprioritize and stuff like that.

Nice. Okay, this next one, things can change very quickly. I have no control over these changes. I can only control what's in my control and each limit my efforts towards my control and not worry. Yeah, are you all familiar with people that have the Serenity Prayer? Basically, do the stuff that you can, let everything else go. Okay, very good. Yep, and we're getting some agreements. I agree, it's all right to slow down and enjoy what you're doing in the moment.

I wasn't expecting this one, more education if I lose my job. You know what, that's not... That's like, oh my gosh, I might lose my job, but that's a nice focus on that. I like that. How important relationships are, which, by the way, again, I'm a mental health professional, so I'm a little biased, relationships are everything. Family time is a priority, nice. Another good insight, I do not handle change well. You're welcome to humanity.

Physicality is important to me. I want to get up and go to work, go to the water cooler et cetera. It helps my brain in thinking. Yes. Another reinforcement of make sure that you're taking those lots of breaks and moving around, okay? How many of you experienced this? What was thought impossible turns out to be very possible. Yes, it is. I enjoy working from home, it's improved my mental health. I'm hearing that a lot from people, especially my introverted folks. Some more good insight, I'm realizing I didn't know how to relax, that I'm becoming more of an introvert. Yes, yes. Yes. I'll be more helpful to others that are more vulnerable. That's wonderful.

Okay, do not plan for long term. A lot of people are like, "Me too, working from home. I love it." I get [inaudible 00:34:55] well to spending time alone." That's a nice skill set, right? I can be resilient. This is good, this is something that you want to go ahead and adjust into your policies, procedures and protocols, rework is triggering for me. In a time of change, it happens a lot. Nice. Yes. Maybe setting different deadlines or letting people slow it down a little bit so the rework is not necessary, that's good, okay?

Yep, breathe and smell the roses, being grateful. Perfect time to evaluate meditating and slowing down. If you all haven't heard engaging in a meditation. It doesn't have to be the full blown yoga position Om type of stuff, but taking the time, especially when you're taking on breaks, to practice mindfulness, especially mindfulness meditation, just a few minutes a day can reset your brain function and boost your immune system.

There's tons of apps out there. Headspace, Calm is mostly for sleeping. Okay, really good [inaudible 00:35:56] Yes, so meditation, really helpful. Yes, people are scared, so listen to them. Again, think about this, if this becomes your default of how you interact with other people, how powerful is that going to be? Yes, listen to them.

You realized how much you relied on talking directly with your boss to go through issues. That's a good insight, right? There are no guarantees. That's right. Here's a good one, living alone, I find that I'm calling my siblings to connect more now than ever. Right. My 89 year old mother-in-law, we call her Bubba, very social lady. She's part of three Mahjong groups, and she has a widow's group, and she has her two best friends from kindergarten that she wants to see that she can't because they're 89 as well.

Bubba has become a Zoomer. Yeah, she points to the camera right, but she's become a Zoomer and it's amazing how often I'm talking to Bubba, and my own mom a lot more, yep. This is a good one, causing me to reassess what are my true priorities? Folks, this isn't just for us individually, this is for our teams as well. Patients with life in general, especially my kids, it's okay to just be home and not have to do anything, and we'll keep, take time for me, walk, swim by myself, just taking time for me. Yes, yes, yes. The healthier and the better you are, the better you are in terms of a team.

Being around family members 24/7 has been hard. I have to work remote, the last four years has been difficult. Being a homeschool teacher and trying to continue to work full-time. Yep, it took a lot of soul searching to make this work, absolutely. But again, tying into what other people are saying, you're reassessing the relationships, you're learning to listen, you're recognizing the importance of me time even with all these additional responsibilities, yep.

Here's the next one, I feel this one, I need people interaction. I don't know who wrote this, but I'm a little bit of an extrovert. Yep, it's hard to do that. So, I have to rely on just Zooming Bubba. I learned from this that I get uncomfortable and angry when unexpected change happens. Think about how can it change your perspective of life in the future? Having that knowledge, that insight? These are great. Normal is only a setting on a dryer. Yes, this is true.

Thinking about hours worked, to making sure personal time. Yes, exactly, having that balance, letting go and learning what's most important. Hygiene, hygiene... I can't tell if it's hygiene, hygiene, hygiene or hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. I don't get it? Patient's hygiene. Consistently my day has got me through the process. Okay. Hope to keep it going. Good, yes, consistency. Learn to ask for help to deal with how to handle navigating all these changes and how to adapt to this new way of life.

We're not alone. Yep. Others are affected as much or more than you. These are great, folks. Okay, we need to prepare for disaster. Okay, access to necessary medicines, sanitary supplies, things like that. Yeah. How many of us are prepared for anything like this? The next point, anything can happen at any point of our lives that can really change our work and home life. Another person, I need social interaction. Respect for others, specifically of the mask, no masks scenario. Thank you for clarifying that. That's good. Just because I think everyone should wear masks, doesn't mean everyone should. The information regarding whether masks are effective has been all over the place. It has been.

The latest news at the end of this week is that it helps prevent 80% of transmissions, I think it was. Compassion, spiritual growth in my faith, nice. Respect for other's welfare. Learn something new. Be not afraid. Along the education lines, I have learned I'm not a good teacher. I need to prepare me to educate my children outside the public school system. Yeah. I had to add a commute to my work from home routine. I add a 30 minute workout or walk at the end of the workday. Allow me to use that time to get out of work mode into home mode. Yes, that's really important.

People in survival mode make a lot of mistakes. I'm in quality... You're saying the mistakes. Ooh, Tai Chi, Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, all those, very helpful. Breathe, good. Schedule time with co-worker daily in a call, not just an instant message. I've been temporarily moved to another group. So, keeping in touch is helpful. Yes, exactly, relationship. More self-care, cook. Food is sacred, folks. Think about it. Can you imagine a single human community ritual that doesn't involve food before, during or after? Throwing out a lot, organizing, yep. That's not just physical stuff, psychological as well. I don't have to deal with road rage. Including noise from other people. It's overwhelming, right?

I've worked remote for 15 years, I'd like to see everyone's reaction to how they like to work from home or not work from home. Everyone has a different perspective. Nice. Take some time to connect to a real cause. Yep, absolutely connect with where you can. Being at home 24/7 with your spouse makes you exercise patience and appreciate the give and take. My husband's in baseball. Yeah, there's no baseball going on. They haven't reached a decision yet. He's been home for the first time in 11 years. We've lived in this house for 11 years, he's never been in our house when there's been air conditioning on, ever. It's been different. Okay.

Staying in touch, staying engaged. It's okay to not be okay. Okay, I'm going to come back to this in terms of strategies, a little different. Okay. Was very prepared after the earthquake. Yes, because we do learn from that, right? I spend more time with my kids now, and I love it since they are home. Nice. These are awesome. Again, all these things, these lessons, we can take with us. Whether you came up with something like oh, yeah, I like that, the stuff that you've been doing, or listening to any of these things, think about what you want incorporate. All of these are feasible, which leads me to one of the comments here.

Now, we're going to go ahead, and I'm going to combine the next three, because they're all related. From all this experience, what can I do differently? Where do I want to go and what can I get excited about? Those are all together.

Think about it. Again, you're going to get two minutes, put the comments in there as you're doing that. I'll be going over that. One of the things, we've already had a comment here, if you can come up with an answer to, in terms of what can I do differently, where I want to go, what can I get excited about? Somebody asked, what are some strategies we can use to convince our higher management to let us permanently work from home just even two days a week?

A lot of people are saying, "This is great. I'm more productive. I enjoy it." Now, some of us, we can't wait to get back to the office. I want you to think of what can I do differently, what do I want to go? What can I get excited about, and what is your answer to what are some of the strategies we can use to convince our higher management to let us permanently work from home just even two days a week? Okay, think about it, write it down and share.

Okay, we have some stuff coming in. We have some stuff from the last question, to have time with young adult kids. It's been great. Yeah, right? My 19 year old stepson has been awesome. Do gardening if possible. Spend break times, intervals to chat with other family members to share everyday experience with each other. Actual, purposeful communication. Okay, now some answers to the question. The first one, I completely agree with, the numbers, show management the numbers.

Now, you might need to find out where you can get the numbers and what those numbers are. This could be in terms of deadlines, general, productivity metrics, but always going to the numbers is a really good way to start off with any conversation. Because this has been lasting for so long, you actually need to be able to get numbers that are more than a day or two, you actually are going to start to get... I'm going to get quarterly numbers. Get quarterly numbers about how to do it.

Start with the numbers and then the next.... It's almost like I planned this. The next comment can tell them that it's helpful for work life balance, is that something that management is open to? Because let's be honest, not all members of management are up on that work life balance thing. But say it's work life balance, you can describe how it's helped for you and how it can be more productive.

Folks, if you want to go on terminal labor and OSHA's website, they have tons of research, tons of links about how work life balance and they define it in very specific ways directly leads to productivity. Starting it off, half the numbers, you can say that they're even more productive, so you're following the metrics and then talk about how important work life balance is and then you can close that research item as well, okay? What else do we have? Lower absenteeism, better retention, because more and more people are liking this. That's a good one to put in there, nice.

Want to get more exercise that'll make us healthier. Here's some things of what we want to do. You want to get more exercise. The person was talking about wanting to get more gardening. I want to go anywhere without fear. I want to go on vacation, I want to go to the store, I want to go to the nail salon, I want to go to my friends. I want my kids to be able to go to do things. I miss being able to go out, especially with those kiddos, okay.

Putting it into words, it's really, really powerful. Instead of saying I don't want this, but what you do want. Being able to share what you get excited about or what you want to do, now you can go ahead and start incorporating those plans. I want everybody to think about the things that they miss the most. It doesn't have to be directly work related. I want you to get excited about... Now, think about it, how often before we get excited about going to the doctor's office with our kids, or going to the doctor's office for ourselves, we can go ahead and get excited about that.

I can get very excited about doing more things that are impossible to do remotely. Okay. To connect that back to the other question as well, think about it, we have certain people that really want to be back in the workplace. Other people are like, "No, I'm fine. What if we really developed a strength based approach in terms of we aligned functions, tasks, these dynamics to what worked for people? Not everybody has to come back, not everybody has to stay home. What works better?

For example, I used to work in a drug rehab unit and I loved working with clients, love it, hate doing the paperwork, but it's important. There's a lot of paperwork. Our hospital took Medicaid and Medicare, a lot of paperwork. What my boss did is that he had me take most of the family night, that could be the outreach, all the public speaking stuff, gave that to me, and all of the paperwork stuff, he gave to Jan. Jan's and introverted social worker, she loved the paperwork, she hated the public speaking. If we can talk about, hey, let's go ahead and match up what works. Some people can't wait to be back, some people don't. How can we go ahead and do that? Nice. Good.

I'm getting excited about seeing my grandson, right? Family for the first time. I'm excited to come up with new ideas that my team can use in the future that we've not had thought of pre-COVID. Okay, yes. What I would encourage you to do is do a brainstorming thing like we're doing here with them now. Don't wait till we get to that next phase. Continue to brainstorm because it's things you can start to incorporate now, if you haven't already, okay? The whole mask thing, it's not fun. I agree. I wear glasses, so they are fogging up all the time. Okay.

I don't like working from home as much as our company is likely going to [inaudible 00:48:38] 100% work from home from now on. A few of my co workers live nearby and we've opened our homes to come over and work from home together. That's a good idea. Mask and social distancing, how cool would that be? They can have meals and stuff together.

Excited about summer, getting out and about. Yep. Think about it too, because we appreciate this more, what are the chances that if you do have to go back to the office that you take those breaks and you get outside and you walk around? Which by the way, I'm telling you to do this. Every 30 to 60 minutes, we want those breaks. Get out and walk around. Tell your boss, [inaudible 00:49:15]. Even just at home, exactly. It would be great to have the flexibility to work from home, when to choose on an ongoing basis. Yes. Okay, working from home and group has discussed how much more productive we are, the stress due to rushing around with kids and commute and how long we've stayed in touch via Team. Cell management, the benefits of working from home.

Be very objective, give them the data. We have proposed Tuesday through Thursday in office for everyone and Wednesday, Friday, rest of the week. That's another thing, we have the data, we have the metrics. We talk about work life balance, string space, what works for us and then actually coming up with some sort of solution. Tuesday, Thursday in office, Wednesday, Friday and work from home the rest of the week. Nice, okay.

To remain working from home, by sample prove work location does not affect productivity. If I'm still effective from home, I can be effective anywhere. Yep. Again, it's going to the numbers which are going to be available. Yes, absolutely, I think that traditional command and control management is going to struggle with this change. For me, it's about building trust with my manager. If he or she trusts me to do my work, it will go much better.

Remember earlier, I was saying it's all about relationship, yes. What I'm probably encouraging everybody to do is engage in something I call positive manipulation. What positive manipulation is... Now, the word manipulation has got a bad rap, but there's nothing negative to it. If it's too dark, we manipulate the light. Okay. Positive manipulation, is addressing the situation adjusting, adapting, making change, where everybody gets something that they want.

You're right, if management's having a problem with this, let's develop the relationship of hey, you know what, we're doing this for the benefit of everybody. It's about trust and it's about positive manipulation. We're doing this for the benefit of everybody. It's truly for the benefit of everybody. It's not negative and manipulated, okay? Here's a good suggestion... If you have any suggestions about training options around this, I would like to hear this. Utilize technology and video communication more, which helps to see and virtually feel each other and it's really built, help move to work from home remote a better option.

Like I said, if you have any internal resources about training on that, because I don't know what you all have, that would be helpful. Our report's showing productivity, quality have increased, and also the whole absenteeism thing. I think it's important to get the numbers on that. This is nice, my management is pushing for people to come back to the office so I started looking for remote opportunities within the company. To see what else is out there, okay?

I want to work towards switching careers. Like I said, my career coach friends. Carve out time for my own development. Explore additional specialty in my field and get certification to prepare me for what's next in my career. Going back to the thing... Not that I want everybody to be worried about losing their job, but how important is education for you, training, things like that? A lot of us, we haven't really focused on it, because we've been doing what we've been doing, we've been in that rut, good.

This is a good one. Through all this, I've lost all ability to self-motivate. I want to learn how to be able to bring myself back to having self-motivation to getting my life back on a schedule now that things are opening back up, and I have the ability to get back on my usual daily routine, which starts with the gym. This is also when I'm most productive with work as well.

Yes. For some of us, and I'm one of these people, probably because I have ADHD, routines are essential. Getting kicked out of my routine, it can screw everything up for me. To be able to create that. That's where the self-motivation comes, folks. The whole concept of willpower is a bad idea. The part of our brain that will power is associated with is less than... It's right about 15% of our brain. It's not a whole bunch of it.

The whole thing of I'm going to use willpower and self-motivate myself, that's really hard, especially when we're thrown for a loop, we're out of our routines, especially there's any mental health stuff going on. A lot of people are experiencing depression and anxiety. Guess where it shows up? Okay? Make sure that you develop those routines so it's not about willpower, it's not about making the choice, you just do it and get your mental health assessed, because there's probably some of that going on as well. Especially if you haven't been able to go to the gym and things like that, and that body connection, absolutely, good point.

I've been working from home prior to the pandemic, the changes I have had deals with the change with others working from home. The bandwidth and speed of connection. That might be something too in terms of what we can go ahead and do. At the very beginning today, I was saying if you're having connectivity problems, call in versus using a computer audio. Being able to look at technology and the limits. I know for a lot of people in the residential areas, the system's not set up to support all this.

My company has actually initiated discussion working from home more starting with the CEO down. Good. You've already had the discussions [inaudible 00:54:15] Scheduling time to accomplish adult tasks on a regular basis. Time's running together and getting away from my husband and me. Yeah, again, self-care, make sure we're focusing on those relationships. Working from home as somebody mentioned, it's really hard to have those set beginning and end times. It all blends and blurs. Routines are helpful for that as well. Make sure you're putting energy into those relationships. What I missed the most was a weekly dinner with friends that have been doing for years.

You can do that virtually. It's not nearly as good, I know. It's not nearly as good. That's something to go and plan and boy, are we going to appreciate it, aren't we? Always have... I like this, everybody write this down. Always have a list ready for management on tasks to perform the [inaudible 00:55:02] the company. Not just right around your annual review time. Just have that ready and then you can pull it out whenever you need.

I'm excited to hug friends and family again. Yes, I know. I'm a hugger. I can't wait. Gym and shopping? I know, right? Getting out. I'm excited about places staring to reopen, so I can go out and enjoy life again but still miss sports. Really? Yes. I know. I miss baseball a lot. Going back to the gym. Yes. Folks, all these things about the shopping and the gym, that is part of our mental health, because that's a lot of times what we need and that's what we've been taught. Make sure you have the plans for that.

Side question, anybody with glasses found a good mask to buy or make? Because of the thing? A nurse told me that for all the masks, if you twist the ear loops a little bit, if you twist it before you put it around your ear, and this seems to work a little bit for me with my glasses. It tightens it up in a certain way that seems to help a little bit for that. But any other suggestions would be appreciated.

I'm excited about less traffic when I go into the office, which has been necessary several times. Never going back to the office. Will end up retiring from home in the next five years and working for time. Three quarters time seems strange, okay. I've lost good employees due to not being able to offer a flex schedule prior to the pandemic. I'm excited we may be able to recruit talent and keep it based on a potential culture changing and offering a flex schedule.

Yes. Here's the downside, I'm working double from home because everybody wants to show that they are active and working and start to send unnecessary emails in the hundreds. We get to go ahead and address and have training around what communication is like, an effective communication. Absolutely. [inaudible 00:56:50] traveling again. Okay, here's a suggestion, we're going to go off the masks, I want to. Okay, we're already wearing the mask. Put it higher on the bridge of your nose and the glasses on top of those. I've also read but not done where they put shaving cream on them and then rinse it off and it's supposed to help.

I've heard about the shaving cream. Yes, okay. Yes, and so many WebEx meetings that are not relevant. Somebody asked me, "You have to leave for another meeting?" Yes, we're getting up at time. No, I don't need the ID, your attendance is being recorded. Thank you. Yes, something about WebEx meetings, they're not relevant. One of the things that we get to go ahead and do is we get to revamp our communication, how we go ahead and do that.

This is what I want you all to do. You have some ideas, you start writing it down on paper. Remember, we're focusing one day at a time, one week at a time. But I want you to go ahead and do is create a goal, a very, very simple goal that you want to focus on for this week, maybe two weeks, and then figure out a task, just one that you can do every day to start work towards that goal, and write it down every day. Write it down at the end of the night, and you're prepared for the next day.

We can start to take this and bring this into the next phase of our life, okay? Thank you so much, folks, for all of this. We're right up on the time here. The other thing about the mask is if you get the fabric suspenders, that way they can wrap around your head and not your ears, which adjust it out. Okay, I know folks have tons of other meetings. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for your participation that you're here. Folks, please take good care of yourself, and let's change the world. Thanks, everybody. Take good care.

 

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