Ron Carucci: Important Considerations for Returning to Work (Ep. #20)

Published on
July 28, 2020
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Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #20: Important Consideration for Returning to Work

We are in an unprecedented time. There is no guide, no Standard Operating Procedure or historical perspective. Today's special guest, Ron Carucci, and I will discuss what individuals and organizations can do to create new models and opportunities regarding workplaces and remote work to make it through and potentially thrive in these new times.

In this episode:

Meet Ron Carucci

  • Bio & Background

Trends Since March 2020

  • People are inventing their way through the current situation. Businesses really had no playbook for this.
  • And whether it's how they set up remote work, how they help employees with technology, how they meet, make decisions, give feedback and coach people, we're all spending way too much time on screens these days, which is causing our brains to be exhausted.
  • There are no more boundaries - it seems to be one big 16 hour workday. People are actually working more and fewer of them are taking a break. And so the natural boundaries of the end of a work day or a weekend are gone.
  • So we're all having to reinvent this thing called work, how we participate in the world, and how we contribute in the world.
  • For some, it's exposing new levels of resilience, strength, excitement, and providing fresh opportunities, but for others, it's exposing boredom and frustration and levels of disengagement.

The Importance of Communication

  • One of the most important things organizations can do is provide reliable information.
  • Have a mechanism of keeping people informed about what's going on, about what you're doing - even if you haven't gotten answers to all the questions, keeping people engaged and informed and aligned is probably the greatest gift you can give people right now.
  • Letting them make up stories in their heads is going to send them over the rails; it's not going to help your workplace, and it's not gonna help their productivity.

How the Brain Is Adapting to New Normals

  • Our brains are misers. Our brains are lazy. They want to do the minimal amount of processing as possible. And so we create shortcuts. It's why you can drive to work without know how you got there.
  • Coming home to work in dining rooms, creating offices in basements, turning our kitchens into classrooms, we made that up as we went and it was it was kind of exciting. We sort of conquered it.
  • But when we go back to the office, our brains are going to start reaching for the Old Normal. Where you park, where your cubicle is, which coffee mug is yours.
  • And our brains are gonna be short circuiting all day long dealing with new things in old places: having your temperature taken, forgetting your mask, starting at a different time. And that's exhausting.
  • Our brains are efficient, they'll create new shortcuts for the six feet apart in the break room, and suddenly the world will change again.
  • A good metaphor is: when you bring your cell phone into the forest, and you watch the battery just go down because I'm looking for a tower. That's what's happening to our brains on Zoom calls - we're all looking at each other, each other's dirty laundry, each of us backgrounds ourselves to make sure there's no spinach in our teeth. Every email notification that comes up, or we check again or we're asking so much of our minds these days, that mental health becomes really important.
  • Mental rest becomes critical. It's not just a "nice to have," it's become a must have.
  • You're using the frontal lobe of your brain in ways it was never intended to be used, or at the extent and intensity level with which we're using it. If you don't take care of it.
  • That's going to happen to our brains because of Zoom Fatigue, but it's just really fatigue period - if we don't learn to recharge, and take care of it with more than just caffeine.

How to Prepare Yourself for a Return to the Workplace

  • Monitor your anxiety
  • Stock up on patience and flexibility
  • Manage expectations
  • Be a source of joy
  • Stay focused on the Bigger Story

Downloads & Resources

Follow Ron on LinkedIn here.

Subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform!

Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.

Ron Carucci

Ron has a thirty-year track record helping executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization, and leadership — from start-ups to Fortune 10s, non-profits to heads-of-state, turn-arounds to new markets and strategies, overhauling leadership and culture to re-designing for growth. With experience in more than 25 countries on 4 continents, he helps organizations articulate strategies that lead to accelerated growth, and then designs programs to execute those strategies.

The best-selling author of eight books, including the recent Amazon #1 Rising to Power, Ron is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, where Navalent’s work on leadership was named one of 2016’s management ideas that mattered most. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes, and a two-time TEDx speaker. Ron is proud to be a member of the Marshall Goldsmith MG100 coaches community. His work’s been featured in Fortune, CEO Magazine, Inc., BusinessInsider, MSNBC, Business Week, and Smart Business.

View the episode transcript

Wendy Hanson: Welcome, everybody. It's great to have you here. We are in an unprecedented time, there is no guide, no standard operating procedure, or even a historical perspective. Our brains have no pattern to look back on. In an HBr article by My guest today, Ron carucci. It said 70% of over 1000 workers were surveyed by PwC and said there were several factors preventing them from wanting to return to work with 51%, citing fear of getting sick as their major worry For others fear of public transportation, and having no reliable solutions for child care homeschooling are also concerns. Wow, with these statistics, there's a lot for us to think about, and how do we manage in this new world. So today, Ron and I are going to discuss what individuals and organizations can do to create models and opportunities regarding workplaces and remote work to make it through and potentially thrive during these times. I do think there's opportunities for that. So it's an honor for me to introduce my guests Ron Ruchi. Ron has a 30 year track record helping executives tackle challenges of strategy, organization and leadership, from startups to fortune 10s. nonprofits to heads of state turned around to new markets and strategies, overhauling leadership and culture to redesign and growth. The best selling author of eight books including the recent Amazon number one bestseller To power. Ron is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes and a two time TEDx speaker. Ron is a proud member of the Marshall Goldsmith mg 100. Coaches community. His work has been featured in fortune, CEO magazine, Business Insider, MSNBC business, weak and smart business. Welcome, Ron. It's so great to have you on today.

Ron Carucci: Wendy, what a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Wendy: Yes, I really love your articles on HBr and Forbes. We're gonna list them in the show notes for people. I love your combination of research and pragmatic advice. I think those kinds of things really help us right now in the situation that we're in. So today we're going to talk about companies like what do they need to think about going forward in this new world? And then what some sage advice for individuals because you've been doing a lot of research on both. So let's start with the company perspective, like what are some of the things that you've seen transpiring? Since this all began in March of 2020,

Ron: Well, I know a lot of people are inventing their way through the process. Like you said in your earlier introduction, there's no, there's no playbook for this. And so companies are having to adapt and be agile on the fly. And whether that's, you know, how they set up remote work, how they help employees with technology, how do they meet, make decisions, how do they give feedback and coach people, we're all spending way too much time on screens these days, which is causing our brains to be exhausted. There's no more boundaries, right? It's one big 168 hour workday. And so there's no boundaries. So people are actually working more than that less and are taking a break. And so the natural boundaries of the end of a work day or a weekend are gone. So we're all having to reinvent this thing called work and how we participate in the world and how we contribute in the world. And I think it's exposing new levels of resilience and strength and excitement, about fresh opportunities. And for others, it's exposing boredom and frustration and levels of disengagement. We didn't know we had so it's been quite a soup. Yeah. Learning for folks. And

Wendy: I've already noticed kind of the roller coaster syndrome, you know that everybody got stuck in their place in like, April, the end of March in April business was like, I don't know where this is going. So I'm not going to get into new contracts, I'm not going to do things, then it seemed to go up again, people started reaching out. And then when they said, This pandemic is not over, you know, we're still sheltering in place. It went down again, have you seen that kind of pattern? Also,

RI think you have business cycles that are going to be starting stop for a while, we have so many different understandings of what this is, you still have people who believe it's not a pandemic at all that on that extreme, another extreme, you have people who think it's Armageddon, so it's hard to get reliable information about what is true. And then of course, state by state, it varies. So you have dueling truths. You know, of course, we're all relying on the internet, and painfully too much on social media as a place to get the most unreliable information, but we're consuming it as if it's fact and until you have unfettered panic. And I think that's the One of the most important things organizations can do is provide reliable information. You can only be as consistent as you can, because that's the admission of a change. That's okay. But keep people up to date, and have some mechanism of keeping people informed about what's going on, about what you're doing. Even if you haven't gotten answers to the questions, at least tell people how you tend to get the answers. keeping people engaged and informed and aligned is probably the greatest gift you can give people right now. Because letting them make up stories in their heads and you know, they're going to, it's going to send them over the rails and it's not going to help your workplace, it's not gonna help their productivity, and it's not going to help their mental health.

Wendy: Right? It's so true. And you know, when leaders can stand out there and say, we may not know the answer right now, but we're working on it is just gives people much more confidence. Actually. I've also had some great examples of companies that their empathy as a company has really shown through in a one group that I know very big marketing team was told by the marketing director Want you all shutting down two o'clock on Fridays? You know, that's it close down your computer. I don't want anybody on. Because your point of people are working 168 hours a week, we hear all these stories about some people. If you're in a different type of, you know, not the information kind of position, maybe you're not working, maybe you're on unemployment, and then you've got all this time on your hands, and you're taking piano lessons on zoom. And then there are others of us who are working 168 hours. So companies, I think, need to be aware of the groups of people that they have. And do you have any situations that you've heard of like that where people have gone over and above?

ROh, my gosh, it's what is, I think the level of humanity, we're seeing the dark side of people and the depravity of people. But for the most part, I think our heightened level of humanity and empathy and compassion is inspiring. That's the part if there's one thing I hope we keep this pandemic, it's that I hope that it doesn't return to know all about me. When the penerbit really finally decided to subside, we get a vaccine. So yes, I've seen company He's, you know, sending meals to people's homes. I've seen companies, you know, making sure people have technology at their house paying for childcare, you know, all kinds of flexibility and bosses saying, don't worry about it, don't worry about it, don't worry about it and setting people at ease because of the anxiety of all this. So absolutely. This has helped leaders. Now here's what I would say. I don't know that I would say the pandemic caused that level of compassion. And I would say it revealed it if you were already predisposed to be generous and kind and caring, maybe you aren't always to this extreme, but if it was there, the pandemic brought it out of you. But it weren't and you weren't, didn't have, you know, reserves of empathy or reserves of other orientation. And you are more predisposed to your own anxiety or your own self interest or your own self protection or your own. You know, worry. The pandemic probably brought out the worst out of you, right? Because you're not going to suddenly, you know, at what it's not ever been your nature suddenly become compassionate unless somebody was a crisis, right? If suddenly you've had a tragedy that may bring out some more levels of empathy. compassion. But short of that, as the old adage goes, don't plant the tree the day you need the shade. And so this was a moment where leaders needed and organizations needed to be flexible, agile, compassionate, caring, and really love their employees. It was moment. And I tell you, Wendy, I'm not sure what you're hearing. But if you are a company that didn't make the choice to be on the right side of history, in this moment, this is not gonna look pretty for you. I think people who were on the right side of history, the marketplace and your employees will show you loyalty and regarded appreciation for that. You can't imagine but if you weren't, there'll be consequences.

Wendy: Yeah, you know, we a better manager, you know, we coach people through these kinds of things all the time and managers and I'm still hearing things from people about trust, you know, how do I know? Because we're not used to running a remote workforce. How do I know that people are really doing what they're doing because you have people that were naturally a little bit more micromanaging and used to being able to walk around and see what was going on. And that's that dark That you talked about.

RI had one client tell me I think I'm going to 24 seven surveillance now I thought she trusted me. If she checks it with me all the time, and they try to cover it up, just call in and say hi, No, you're not. And so whatever your predisposition was to empowerment or to delegation, this tested it, what what are you going to do? Either you will hold people accountable for results, you don't know, if you have some people who for whom the structure of the workplace, the structure of the office, the access to other tools and information and people made their work easier. And so working from home with three kids in the background, a wife was also working from home, their performance starts to slip. That's understandable. How can you help them right? surveillance is not the answer, help them figure out what they need to succeed, especially they used to perform well. So for some people that working from home need to impose structure, the required levels of discipline, the ability to create structures where there are none. For some people, that's harder, and those people can't wait to get back to the office. Right? But organizations have to understand that this is going to show the neuro diversity of your people and so embrace it. Right. You can't fight it and trying to push people back into the box that makes you comfortable as a leader is a fool's errand, the world saying pivot. And so this is your opportunity to see if you can.

Great point. Well, we're on the cusp of change every week. Now it feels like you know, there's something it's not. I was gonna say a month, but that really doesn't seem realistic. Every week, we're looking at different things, and we're looking at, do I start to bring people back to work? You know, do I do a hybrid model? How do I do that? It's very similar to what schools are going through right now, trying to figure out how do we do this? What are some of the things that you're hearing in terms of the models going forward? Because I'm so curious about the commercial property. You know, one company we work with said, God, I'm going to be saving a million dollars a year, you know, now that we're going to be able to let go of property. I'm hoping they put it into leadership development and coaching and people let's move these resources around. But what are you hearing in this area? Ron? You know,

RI think I think the pendulum is gonna keep bouncing back and forth like a yo yo, people are looking at the dollar signs and saying, oh, wow, get rid of the real estate. I mean, HBr has a whole series this week on in praise of the office or do we need the office anymore? a whole set of perspectives. The reality is, you know, we're not going to go working from home, apparently, right. I think our ability to work more distantly we don't have to fly people around the world for a two hour meeting. I think our comfort with technology has been forced to amplify that's a great thing for the season. We're in this sort of in between places, right? So we've had the car accident the ambulance come we're getting the triage. We haven't gotten to the ER yet, but we're still in the triage. So we're in that stage. So now the question becomes what we have some people at home at work, the people at work, are jealous that they can't be at home. Some of them people at home are anxious or they're missing out on opportunities at the office. How do you create cohesion? How do you create connection? What are the things we do so that we create a level playing field? So how do we use governance for that? How do we use process for that what what's the water cooler replacement? Right? Right? And what are the rituals are lots of great resources out there for what are the rituals we place those with you In our virtual world or on our video world, I so I think we've got to sort of get through this new normal to decide what's really best for our workplace, what's best for us competitively what's best for us strategically to know, the leaders who are saying, gosh, I'm saying millions dropped my bottom line again, that's foolish. there's a there's a place for the workplace is a place for that level of collaboration and cohesion, and camaraderie that you cannot replace virtually. Right? Get some of that, but you're not going to replace the sense of a bigger story of, of participating in something greater than just you that you can get when you're together. Right. And so there is a role for the workplace. There's a role for remote working, and I think companies have to ask themselves for our competitive set for our customers, for the kind of work we do and for the kind of employees we attract what will work best for us, and there's no recipe for this. There's no you know, plug and play solution, you'd have to do the hard work to say, how will this procurement process work when people are distributed? How will leadership work when it's distributed? How will decision making work when it's delayed? How will technology help us interrupt that delay? By having a place where we're virtually all connected all the time? How will boundaries work when there's no boundaries when you're working at home? Right? So these are design choices that leaders are going to have to sit and do the hard work to consider with their people as we sort of transition out of the triage mode into the LR thing probably sewed up and buttoned up and get fixed. But if leaders who want the Just give me the plug plants or give me the playbook, they'd be disappointed because there's not one that's going to work for everybody. Right?

Wendy: Yeah, that that's what's so hard on the brain. Right? We have nothing to go back to on that. And I think that the hybrid of having an office I was coaching a salesperson the other day, and they were talking about how that energy is really important, and how are we even going to do that? It's the water cooler, like how can we go and still feel safe and spend a little time so we can have a connection, you know, but then know what work should be done there and what works should be done at home. And as you say, with the screen time I've always been a fan of zoom You know, we've been doing coaching on zoom for years. But you know, sometimes Enough is enough. You know, when somebody wants to talk to me on the phone right now, it often feels good. Yeah. So we have to be willing to change things up a little bit and different ways of being able to look at this.

RI talked to one client yesterday, and she told me because if she was a global business, so she said, Skype only works in Argentina. We have WebEx and teams for our company. Some of our suppliers can only use zoom, some people are still using Skype. And then we have WhatsApp, our European people texting people all day long. And so she's on eight different technologies all day long. And I'm like, how do you do what you do? So you have no choice? I mean, it is what it is. I think that you know, we have not yet learned to replace cohesion, rituals or connecting rituals online, but there are plenty to do. I've seen leaders sending handwritten notes by snail mail, or having well time packages arrive at people's home during a zoom meeting, or, you know, doing the questions of you know, what, what's your funniest mishap this week? So we're fine Forced conversations. If you haven't seen the app house party, it's a great app. And there's games in it. Right? So teams are playing games on house party now. We can replace the rituals that create the intimacy and the glue between us. We should have to learn them. We haven't. We haven't learned the ball as well yet. We know what happens in the coffee break room. Right? There's a remote equivalent of that. We just haven't we haven't mastered it yet. But we will. Yeah.

Wendy: I think the one that came up first was happy hour. Oh, we can do happy hour. Yeah. They got more creative.

Ron: Food, it's gonna work.

Wendy: That's right. That's right.

RMy family and I started doing you know, New York virtual Italian family study dinners, you know, right right away. Everybody brought their food we all get it was 28 of us and eight different states and countries. And, you know, we all started had our Sunday dinner together and just talked, of course, it's a we're a tiny family. So we talk over each other. But people are figuring this out. And I it really does create a different kind of connection. It's not the same as being in person. So I think compassion It is silly. It has a different kind of connection, but it's equally as meaningful.

Wendy: And I've certainly heard you know, for your example, personally, families feeling like, Oh my gosh, I've never talked to my family as much as I did before. So if we're seeing this happen on a personal basis, you know, I have happy hour with my brother in Michigan, that I was in a different time zone before. So that wasn't workable. And now it's like, oh, yeah, you want to have a happy hour? Yeah. And it's a wonderful thing.

RWell, I've heard both versions Wendy. I've heard, I've never talked about him so much.

Wendy: Both ways. Yes. So we go back to the company's thinking, whatever the lessons are, that we're learning here, you know, let's learn these lessons and let's write them down. So we know and we do not go backwards. But we go forwards and you know, the new normal which I don't love that expression, but we get to create it now. We have an opportunity. Now, rather than a challenge. It's all how you're perspective. And I think that you know,

Rhe problem is we all want to revert back to what we know, right? We all want to go back to what's familiar, the survival of the working from home thing was we could make sense of that because it was nothing. None of it was familiar, right? So our brains are misers. Our brains are lazy, they want to do the minimal amount of processing as possible. And so we create shortcuts with our brains have neuropathways that just, it's why you can drive to work without know how you got there, right? coming home to work and dining rooms, how to become offices in basements, how to become classrooms and kitchens, how to become, you know, the break room, we made that up as we went in, it was it was kind of exciting, right? We sort of I conquered the wfh. But when we go back to the office, our brains are going to start reaching for that. I know where I park. I know what entrance I use. I know where my cubicle is, I know what coffee mug I use in the break room, and it's my coffee mug. I know what brew I make for myself, I know my route to the bathroom, and then that's going to be there. And our brains are gonna be short circuiting all day long. Every time we reach for shortcuts, and we have to change it we go Oh 62 Oh, temper shaken. Oh, wear a mask. Oh pocket a different place. Oh started a different time. And that's exhausting, right? Our brains are efficient, they'll create new shortcuts for the six feet apart on the break room coffee line within three days, and suddenly the world will change again. Right? It'll be what coffee rooms on the open two hours a day, the adaptation of having our brain we learn even new things. It's learned, we all need like Adderall patches for our brain. It's so exhausting. The metaphor I keep using is it's like when you bring your cell phone into the forest, and you watch the battery just go down because I'm looking for a tower. Right? That's what's happening to our brains on zoom calls on a long you know, we're all looking at each other, each other's dirty laundry, each of us backgrounds ourselves to make sure there's no spinach in our teeth. And all that stuff is just wearing on every post on an email notification comes up or we check again or we're asking so much of our minds these days, that mental health becomes really important. Mental rest becomes critical. It's not just Sort of a pampering thing, it really is no different than if you have a cold. You know, if the rest, and we're not doing that at all people are not understanding that you are taxing your organ. It's like you wonder you drink so much alcohol and you tax your liver or something you ever get sick people go, Well, I didn't see that coming. Well, you did. You're using the frontal lobe of your brain in ways it was never intended to be used, or at the extent and intensity level with which we're using it. If you don't take care of it. It's like your cell phone battery. Eventually, it can't overcharge. Right. At some point, you've used it so much that you unplug it and it's like 40 minutes later, it's gone. Right? That's what's going to happen to our brains because zoom petite, but it's just really fatigue period, if we don't learn to recharge, and take care of it with more than just caffeine.

Wendy: So let's let's totally shift over to this personal perspective. We've talked about the companies and what the hybrid model might look like and then people coming back and taking care of yourself. I love your Harvard Business Review article. How to Prepare yourself for a return to the office. Because I think we need to get that mindset as you were speaking, I'm thinking about habits, you know how hard it is to create a habit Anyway, when we create a habit, and then we're gonna have to shift it right away. So no wonder we're getting confused. So one of the things that you talked about in the article is monitor your anxiety. speak to that a little bit, because sometimes we don't like to admit that we're anxious. You know, sometimes it's like, Well, I better Just be cool with this.

RAnd I think you have both extremes, right? Where do you have people who are stuffing it? Yeah. People who are working on my sleeve, you know, they're hearing their anxiety everywhere. In one company I work with one woman was so stressed over this and legitimately frigging sick. She took it upon herself to become the BP monitor. You know, you can imagine how much that didn't endear her to people. You know, your mask is too low. It's like covering your nose. Or do you have a temperature taken? Or, you know, oh cover you're covering your nose when you sneeze, like that's going to create more stress, right? So she probably wasn't even aware that that was her own anxiety. It being mismanaged. Right? So there's uncertainty. We're naturally fearful human beings, right? And so our predisposition to worry is going to be amplified. And you have to talk about it, you have to recognize how you're metabolizing it, if you're stuffing it, that's bad. It's going to affect your sleep, your diet, you're gonna turn unhealthy choices to, well, your anxiety, not good. You also can't like spray it on people either, right? So you have to make sure that you have a healthy outlet for it, that you're getting good sleep and rest that you really are going for walks. walks are not just a break walks, get blood flowing to parts of your brain sitting don't don't, it stops your brain from ruminating and spinning the wheels. If your amygdala is hijacked, you know and you're fearful. It helps reconnect it to your part of your brain that goes to me, okay. It's good, okay? Because we all know what to do. Our frontal lobe is full of great advice. We've stored all this wisdom for how to manage stressful situations. But if you can't access it, it's not gonna be much good. Right?

Wendy: And if you really are feeling This stress and panic, you have to own it and then get some help. Like, is it time to talk to a therapist or talk to a coach? You know, I would guess that most of our coaching conversations that we're having with people, this is absolutely part of what's happening all the time. You know, we have to help people, because sometimes you just have to let it go. And then you have to figure out what are my adapting strategies? You know, I walk about two miles in the morning, and I do it from my brain. When I have to talk myself into it. It's like, you really need your brain today, like your body needs you to God knows, but your brain has to go out for a walk before you jump into work.

RYeah, that's right. And sometimes at the end of the day, if you would, again, just to let your brain rest, right, right, right. The best thing another person can do is help you normalize. You're not alone. Because one of the things that amplifies your anxieties you think I'm the only one feeling this because everyone else looks happy or fine. So I don't I don't want people to know that I'm feeling stressed or worried. Trust me, they're all worried about something. They're worried about their kids at home. They're worried about how they're going to pay their bills. They're worried about You know, the car breaking down, they're worried about their mother in the nursing home, something, they're one degree of separation from something that's causing them stress. And having a healthy way to talk about that is important. Having healthy ways to regulate and suffering but especially when you're triggered is critical. And if you don't, you're just leaving yourself vulnerable for alienating relationships or unhealthy choices that are gonna come back to bite you later. Right?

Wendy: You'll also talk about stocking up on patience and flexibility during this time. I love that yes, because it really is what we need more of right now because nothing is familiar. At some point. This is a wonderful for those

Rof us who have you know, very high needs for control. This has been a wonderful test. Because what are you going to do? You know, that says you have to stop in the front door and every temperature taken off fine. So if the cabinets are a waiting line, six feet apart in the rain to have your image taken a week let me decide. We're going to change it now. We're going to staggered throughout the day says go to the cafeteria at noon, people would aid it. He laughs during the morning after my Okay, now I'm in the cafeteria, you know, that's how it's gonna go. Right? Right. And it's not that your company is making it up as they go, they're learning as they go, you should be grateful that they're they're adapting as they learn. Your leaders are not waking up in the morning and saying to themselves, how can we really inconvenience people today, you know, really irritate them on top of the pandemic. They're not. They're getting very conflicting guidance from their local health department, the state health department and CDC very conflicting information. They're trying to make sense of it. And they want to do what's best for their employees and for your customers and for the communities you serve. And that isn't always clear. Just go, what am I going to do? Right? Right. Think about it when your house loses power. Like again, Olds can watch TV. So we're going to play a board game by candlelight. We're going to figure until the lights come back on this is what it is. It's like that what you can control is your response. What you can control is how do you choose to metabolize this, it's not Armageddon, you're really going to be fine. The world is still on its axis spinning quite nicely and you know, whatever it may be. monsters under your bed in your head, telling you how awful This is going to be designed that you'll pull the plug. Although what I will tell you if those monsters are repeating messages to you that you've heard for a long time, maybe it's time to sort of confront the monster right now. Because that monster maybe, is obviously lying to you. And it may be a tape you're playing from an old moment in your life that you just have to unlearn. So pay attention to the places where you're triggered to particularly intensified stress or fear or anxiety, because it has no dependence on it. Right? It happens to be the current transference object of that anxiety. But you learned that a long time ago, don't let the pain of I perfected anymore. Really use this as a moment to say you know what, I don't want to I don't want to deal with stress or view the world at myself in it this way anymore.

Wendy: Right? And the control issue I can only control what I can control. I can't control others you know, don't take it out on your boss Don't you know I loved your your reference to there may be a different way of doing things every day because we're learning every day. Now, my favorite part of your article, and this is kind of my predisposition is be a source of joy. You know, I don't think everybody always thinks of that. But that's really something you can control when you go back to the office. Tell me about that. That was a nice surprise at the end of this article.

RIt was fun to write it in there. I my HBr editor was delightful. Let me do it. Because it's not typical of Yeah, about but i think i think we have to remember that, you know, you can make somebody laugh, you know, nothing brings our ourselves more joy. But to know we matter to somebody, we made a difference for them. I have one client where the replaces that was really funny working from home mishap contest, where they're sharing their, you just ended up with your underwear on a zoom call kind of thing. And just talking about what's funny moments. They're sharing recipes, you know, pandemic recipes of quick dinners, big level competitions, like a year from now, what do you want to say is true about what you learned in this?

Wendy: I love that question.

RYeah, the pandemic is going to make us into somebody new, but you're in control of who that is. We're all part of a much bigger story here, not just about us, and sometimes When you focus on someone else's joy, you have to remember that, you know, Copernicus was right, the sun is the center of the universe, it's not you, and it helps you remember that you're just, you're a part of a bigger story. It's not all about you. And and sometimes somebody else's sadness or somebody else's stress is more important than yours. When you sort of take the time tonight, not at the extensive your own needs. But in sometimes instead of your own rumination and obsessing, go help somebody else. Go make somebody else laugh, bring somebody a cupcake, bring somebody some candy, you know, they like it, or take somebody for coffee or with a trip to the break room has become a pain that can bring an extra cut back for somebody else. It those little things mean so much more. Simply go to somebody and say, Hey, just curious how you doing? How's your daughter? Just inquire, you know, it's one of the greatest things we can be for each other as a source of care. And to know that, you know, somebody else matters to you enough to do that.

Wendy: And Ron, I sincerely hope that that is one of those things that if people had not practiced that previously, which let's hope we all do that. That's up We gained from this that every day when you wake up because you will feel better if you wake up and you're feeling kind of like, Oh, this is just another day in the pandemic. If you say, what can I do today that's going to brighten someone else's day, it will just like boosts our oxytocin and dopamine just to be able to make somebody else happy.

RIt's fun to scheme, you know, telegram, and or what what I, you know, email Could I send or what gift card Could I send? Or what could I have arrive at their front door, and it's fun.

Wendy: It's fun. And that's a habit if, gosh, if we can build some of those habits into our next iteration. So that next year, we say, wow, you know, the year of 2020, it certainly was interesting, but we learned some good lessons and we've held on to the good ones, and we've moved ahead.

RI hope ultimately, it will make us all more grateful. Yeah, we have so much to be thankful for. Even in our greatest suffering. There is so much to be thankful for. And so much to appreciate. And if you cannot remember, if you lose sight of what you're grateful for, you lose all perspective and suddenly, they pandemic becomes the center of a story. Right? Because a big chapter right now it is. But it is not the whole story and as soon as the complete story and I've heard so many parents say that how guilty they feel because how much they're enjoying being home with their kids, don't feel guilty for that, enjoy it, be grateful for it and you're gonna grieve when you have to give it up even for the things that pet the surprises dependent, make a living, be grateful for those, you know, for those who are suffering, there's too much civil unrest, there's racial disparity, offer a care, right, reach out and become part of the solution. Be grateful that you can be part of a solution. All of us can be part of that solution. If we choose to be.

Wendy: There are always things to be grateful for, even when things seem at their darkest. And if you dig those up from your soul, you know, it's going to make a difference to you and everybody else

Rnd for goodness sakes, stay off social media if you're going to rant and rave do social media is not your megaphone, you know your outrage outlet. That's not what it is. I see. So one of the but one of the unhealthy ways I see people managing anxiety is there Turning to social media and they're just ranting and spewing and forget about how much you're hurting other people. You're just reinforcing that tape of your life sucks. Why would you want to do that? For goodness sake?

Wendy: Right. Let it go. Yeah. Well, this has just been delightful. Ron, thank you for sharing the wisdom and ideas. And if people want to follow you more, we're gonna put some things in the show notes, but give us some insight of where to find you.

Ron: Sure. You bet. Wendy. Thanks so much. And it's been a delightful talking to you as well. It's always good to talk to homie from the hood.

Wendy: Yes. If anybody hadn't noticed our accents, I think my growing up in the Bronx came out more after talking to Ron Yes.

Ron: So come visit me at Navigant calm and a va le n t.com. We've got some great resources for you as managers. We've got great videos, we've got white papers, we got a free ebook for you@navicula.com slash transformation. If you think about making changes in your organization. It's our playbook. You can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter at at Ron carucci. So stay in touch.

Wendy: And maybe we'll do this again soon. Time, Ron, I want to. I want to Yeah. Well look forward to it. Everybody. Ron and I are going to get back together again. Yes. Yes, have a wonderful day. Look for the positive things. Be grateful for what you have and bring some kindness into someone else's life and know that where we're going is gonna be a hybrid of something that you've never experienced before, and find joy in that opportunity. So have a wonderful day, everyone.

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