How Is Your Perspective Right Now?
Our sense of perspective can become frazzled and fatigued during times of crisis. When worry and uncertainty are ever present, we lose the ability to frame anything in optimism. Chances are your business is changing, or you think it needs to, and all this feels overwhelming. Even if you have got a handle on how your business needs to adapt it can still feel hard to view the process as positive right now. But what if you step back and adjust your view? If you detach the pain and devastation of the pandemic itself and look at the changes your business is galloping towards in isolation, you may be able to see them as progressive, or, at very least not in absolute negativity. Compartmentalising may give you a more grounded sense of what your business is facing and this new found perspective will help you to make sure the time you spend working on the business is more strategic and less emotive, a point articulated by Rory Sutherland in his vintage TedTalk (Perspective is Everything), “if your perception is much worse than your reality, what on earth are you doing trying to change the reality?” Sutherland further zooms in on the importance of perspective and the power this has on how we see things, highlighting they “don’t actually much depend on what they really are, but on how we view them” a sentiment Sutherland say “can’t be overstated.”
Last month HBR published Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg’s highly pointed to article (If You Feel Like You’re Regressing,You’re Not Alone), examining the three responses leaders and teams typically go through when facing a crisis. For many of us, as we wait out the ‘what next’, we’ll identify with what Wedell-Wedellsborg describes as ‘Regression’ – “regression is the most dangerous phase for teams. The most stressful events for soldiers don’t actually involve dangerous missions that require courage and action (..) it turns out that boredom, lack of new experiences, and monotony can be much more stressful than combat.” Accepting that you’re in this stage can help you move both yourself and others out of it. But, please don’t be too hard on yourself as you do, I expect you probably overachieved in what Wedell-Wedellsborg calls the ‘Emergency’ phase. This was when crisis hit and you went into work overdrive, doing all that you could to save the business and support your team. High on adrenaline and with a sense of purpose you perhaps had not felt for some time, if ever. It was only natural that you would have to come down from that at some point and the ‘Regression’ phase sure does feel like a comedown. But, fear not, there is another chapter, ‘Recovery’ and it’s finally on the horizon – read how you can move yourself and others towards it in Wedell-Wedellsborg’s full article here
by Fay Watkin – Head of Entrepreneurial Development