Finding a New Pace

Finding a New Pace

How has the pandemic affected your pace? Even the best of the best have experienced challenges in finding their new pace at work. Focus and concentration have been more of a challenge for leaders, managers, and employees. And it’s no surprise: our sense of time has been distorted. Two factors explain this phenomenon: Feeling stuck in a holding pattern Loss of flow Feeling stuck is not unusual for those who remain at home, or have yet to return to their previous work environment. Research in anthropology and psychology has found that when we are unable to structure or manipulate our experience of time—when our temporal agency is deprived—we feel stuck in the present. Dr. Felix Ringel, an anthropologist of time at Durham University in England, refers to this as enforced presentism, a term first defined by fellow anthropologist Jane Guyer. And for those who do not know when (or if) they can return to work, enforced presentism continues to alter their perception of time. Fear also alters our perception of time. According to Dr. Sylvie Droit-Volet, PsyD, who has conducted extensive research on emotions and time, threatening stimuli can distort our internal sense of the passage of time. In Subjective Time (The MIT Press 2014), Droit-Volet points to two significant contributors that distort our internal clock: Changes in internal states in response to the effects of drugs or external stimuli (such as a crisis) Attentional processes: when we pay less attention to time, we experience a temporal shortening effect Leaders, executives, and managers in situations of great pressure work with qualified coaches on self-management strategies. They focus on four psychological...
The New Face of Change Management

The New Face of Change Management

Leaders and managers are testing their assumptions and abilities in change management as organizations, lines of business, and teams are asked to quickly pivot in their roles and responsibilities. Many employees are being asked to take on additional work, perform new tasks, work in new environments, or under increasing pressure. Everyone is affected. Even in times of crisis, a swift, top down approach to manage change simply doesn’t work. Two theories explain this: People are hard-wired for homeostasis: we have a natural tendency to resist change, especially change that is imposed. You don’t have to look far to see examples of this today. Change is occurring all the time. Every person, and every process, is undergoing change. Leaders and managers often fail to recognize and tap in to this. But when all employees are engaged through-out the process of change, meaningful change can occur. Employees who understand the obstacles and principles, have their concerns and questions answered, and can contribute with their experience and knowledge engage in meaningful change. This is no easy task, especially in times of crisis. Managing meaningful change begins by engaging in, and managing conversations. The Basis for Meaningful Change Have you noticed how leaders who speak louder, cajole, argue, and push incur greater resistance? In their attempt to influence how people behave—their purpose or process—they fail to address the needs, desires, and agendas of those they want to persuade. This approach only serves to foster a closed, or fixed mindset. For example, leaders and managers of offices that were closed need to examine what changes are needed to ensure employee and client safety. Many...