Last week I shared how COVID-19 has impacted each differently since we are all unique personality blends. Moving forward starts with first understanding how stress affects each of us. This week, I want to provide some insights into how you can help your people begin to recover from COVID-19 or any life stress to re-engage. Let me recap the four distinct styles I identified: Commanders (Assertive in their approach), Coaches (Animated with their communication), Counselors (Attentive by nature), and Conductors (Accurate in all things). Remember, we are a combination of all four; we each have a dominant style that is our “go-to” or comfort zone and blend the others to create our unique style.
Since Commanders fear losing, in order to recover from stress, they need to do something active that allows them to be in charge. Exercise is critical for Commanders, and the more competitive the better. They need a challenge in order to face a challenge. This may not make sense to you, especially if you are their opposite style: Counselors. But to the Commander, they need to do something. Unplugging doesn’t work for Commanders, so as their leader, provide them an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get after it! The good news is they are more than ready to get back to work, contribute, and help your business succeed.
Coaches have lost their social connection throughout the quarantine and business shut down, causing increased levels of stress that have probably led to emotional outbursts. They need others and the ability to work together. For them to recover, they must get back to their teams…in person! Interacting and socializing with people fuels them and their creativity. Creativity needs sparks and those come from water-cooler and coffee-pot conversations. As their leader, put your Coaches back into in-person activities as soon as safely possible. They will be the ones providing positive energy to everyone, even those a little uncertain.
You might think that silence means your Counselors have fared well during COVID-19, but you would be wrong. Silence is not acceptance, and they have probably retreated and withdrawn so far into their caves that they cannot see any light. Too much change shuts them down as they seek structure and stability. To recover, they need you as their leader to formulate plans to move forward that provide some sense of normalcy and structure. Take small steps in implementing moving them forward, allowing them to adjust and adapt. The clearer their role and the more defined their environment is, the better they will serve you.
Conductors are analytical by nature and seek the facts. COVID-19 information changes daily, and this can cause incredible amounts of stress and strain on them as they want to be correct and accurate. Cognitive activity helps Conductors recover from stress, but they can become paralyzed with analyzing. As their leader, you will need to set deadlines and parameters for them to move forward. Allow them to research for a set amount of time and then establish the steps they need to take by when. You will have a wealth of knowledge available through your Conductors, but you will need to remind them that action will be required to move forward.
This is obviously scratching the surface, but it does give you a basic guideline as to how to move past the shut-down. We will always have risks and adversities to overcome. Stress continues on even if a virus disappears. How you communicate matters, and how each person responds to stress and recovers will play out whether you acknowledge it or not. Speed up your recovery by understanding your employees and addressing their needs. When you do, they are then free to do their jobs more effectively.