With Covid-19 measures, like social distancing and stay-home orders, people must modify their work habits to navigate this new reality. That means creating different strategies for getting along.
During times of uncertainty, your natural wiring gets amplified especially when you are under stress. In part, the stress can come from how your natural wiring is not getting met.
Hardwiring is powerful. It pre-determines how you operate and even the environments where you best thrive. Your natural wiring is part of your nature and something you’re born with while your behaviors are part of your nurturing environment.
For example, one of the human wiring elements is communication, specifically how you process thought. If you fall higher in communication (I like to refer to them as External Thinkers), you are energized by face-to-face communication. You are energized by verbally sharing your ideas and thoughts. As you externalize your thoughts you crystallize them.
The physical distancing and stay-home orders have put many people with this innate driver in a tailspin because they tend to lose their energy particularly with prolonged periods by themselves. Without face-to-face interaction, External Thinkers seek it out, sometimes with someone they live with. If that individual they are living with is more of an Internal Thinker – that is, they enjoy their think time or alone time, constant social interaction will be energy draining for the Internal Thinker.
What do you do to work together brilliantly? The solutions are simple:
For the External Thinker, set some face-to-face time using Zoom, WebEx or other face-to-face technology to interact with others verbally. Remember to leave the Internal Thinker alone and give them the time they need.
For the Internal Thinker, be patient with the person who keeps interrupting you. They are involving you in this way because they trust and value you.
For both of you to successfully work in the same space, set some Principle of Play (or ground rules) to ensure you get what you both need. These principles might include:
- Designating individual work spaces
- Mutually agreeing to meet each other only during designated times
- Defining uninterrupted times
- Identifying meaningful ways to reinforce accountability when either of you break a Principles of Play. For example, if one of you breaks one of the principles, the offender makes dinner, does five push ups (if you’re committed to remaining healthy), or another fun way to hold them accountable but in a way that furthers another goal.
How those naturally wired with a high degree of structure and information can navigate this pandemic with greater peace and ease.
About Lisa Mininni
Lisa Mininni is a best selling author and President, Excellerate Associates – a business mentoring and leadership/organizational development company. She is also Founder of the Business Innovation Lab – a coworking, office, and conference facility in Livonia, Michigan.