Many of the core issues that face business leaders today have to do with people. In particular, how do you keep your workforce engaged even during a world-wide pandemic?
This is easier said than done. There are all sorts of characteristics and attributes that shape us.
One of the interesting aspects is our unique human wiring pattern. We all have a human wiring pattern and some traits are more dominant than others. Your wiring has an underlying impact on your success in business and how you navigate unexpected change.
Wiring tells us how people are best engaged in decision making, why some people want lots of information to make an effective decision, and others want the critical points of information.
None of this is good or bad, or right or wrong, it just is. When we objectively understand the strengths and limitations of each wiring trait, we can better coach ourselves and others through difficult circumstances.
For example, people who have a high degree of certainty, tend to have perfectionist traits. They are conscientious, thorough, and careful that whatever they are responsible for is done right.
While this hardwiring trait can be a strength, because it drives you to produce work of great quality, it can also be a limitation if not managed.
Instead of living your life from a place of self-acceptance, individuals wired high in this trait can find themselves on a treadmill chasing the illusion of having everything in their lives be “correct,” “right” or “orderly.” Some of their own belief systems include:
- When everything is perfect and in order on the outside, you will feel peace and ease on the inside.
- When things go wrong, you feel you have personally failed.
- Things are either black or white, right or wrong, or good or bad. There is no grey.
When left unmanaged you:
- Become overwhelmed and can remain stuck for long periods of time because nothing is ever good enough or everything is bad or wrong;
- Don’t delegate because only you can do it best;
- Delay decision making if you don’t have all of the information you need; or
- Focus on the barriers or reasons you shouldn’t move ahead rather than creating opportunities;
The good news
As many of my clients who are wired this way have learned, you can best leverage your wiring when you have an opportunity to complete the work in its entirety with a high degree of precision. You often develop a particular skill or knowledge and expertise in a specialized field. People will seek you out because of it.
While the pandemic may have pinged your wiring negatively, in that, you can’t complete your work with the level of precision you innately need or you’re wanting certainty during an uncertain time, there are ways to manage this trait so you can move forward even during the pandemic:
1. Focus on bite-sized options or phases. Since you have a propensity for perfection, you can get overwhelmed with every detail you think is important. When you feel the weight of this overwhelm, think in terms of phases or releases. Break down a big concept, idea or even project into bite-sized pieces and handle the pieces one at a time (and delegate if you can). When one client implemented a project which seemed overwhelming, I suggested she roll it out to a small beta group of people first, rather than her entire organization. Her overwhelm was quickly broken when taking this approach.
2. Forgive yourself. If you took a risk and, because of the unexpected pandemic are kicking yourself for taking it, forgive yourself. Approach any project from the standpoint that it is a work in progress and failure is a healthy part of learning. Don’t try to make whatever you’re working on perfect from the start. Instead, get other people’s input and improve it over time.
3. Balance your thinking. If you’re wired to need a high degree of certainty, this pandemic can throw you in a tailspin. In an effort to seek more information, you’re taking in a lot of information on how things won’t work. Balance your thinking by making a checklist of how something could work. When a client was concerned that her industry was the first to be identified in the stay-home orders, she immediately went into the worst-case scenario and to the extreme that everything is shut down. We began to also look at alternative income streams that she could deploy online during this time while still being compliant with the stay-home orders. It opened up a whole new revenue stream and what would be possible even during extreme circumstances.
To successfully navigate change, it’s important to manage your natural human wiring and work with it. By using these simple tips, you can move from stuck to success.