Making tough decisions about connecting and training as a team during COVID - Leadership Development, Culture Consulting, and Executive Coaching in Vancouver
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Making tough decisions about connecting and training as a team during COVID

Making tough decisions about connecting and training as a team during COVID

Most of our leadership workshops and trainings have taken place in comfy conference rooms in Vancouver with bright light, beautiful vistas and…recirculated air.

As spacious as these rooms can be, it may be uncomfortable to spend an eight-hour day training as a team during COVID-19. Like everyone else, we’ve pivoted. We’ve taken teams into wide, open parks, backyards, and farmer’s fields, with socially-distanced adirondack chairs and blankets.

I never imagined teams would be willing to adjust in this way so quickly.

Is your team ready for training during COVID-19?

Before you call the shots as a leader and dive into training your team, it’s important to assess whether they’re comfortable enough to undertake it.

Team members may say conference rooms are okay, but deep down they’re deeply uncomfortable. Executives may think it’s fine, and others may not. With COVID, we can spiral into our baseline fears quickly. Navigating conflict from this place of fear requires extraordinary leadership skills. 

How many of us assume it would be okay, and have not thought through the ramifications of having a team member who may be one degree of separation from someone who’s considered high risk?

As my grandma once said, “No one knows what’s going on in someone’s head, bed, or home.”

Leaders must navigate conflict with resolution instead of fear.

How you make decisions now will determine how your team operates in the Winter when flu season hits. We already have Zoom fatigue, so online trainings aren’t necessarily the best solution.

Drawing on the self-awareness of your own fear as a leader and making decisions in spite of conflict will take centre stage in Fall 2020. YOU have the answers, but they may lie in conflict resolution with teams, responding instead of reacting emotionally, training safely, and creating a culture where personal responsibility comes into play. 

Some offices have mandated that teams not connect; others leave it to executives to make decisions, and it’s made for pretty spicy decision-making. The ones who’ve got experience in executive coaching, practice transparency in their communications, and commit to emotional intelligence—particularly in remote work—will come out on top. This has never been more important than now.

Corporate leaders must be prepared for an upswing in mental health challenges in their teams, and think about building their emotional support capacity. Why would our companies be any different than what we see in society? It takes incredible guts to think about your team and anticipate a hard January day at work when you’re sitting next to the barbecue with a drink in hand.

What I know for sure is, making tough calls today will put you and your team in a place of greater confidence as we enter the new year.

If you need help working through a difficult decision or scenario, we’d be happy to help…no matter when and where that meeting might take place!


Patti Jo Wiese
Patti Jo Wiese

PJ is a co-partner of Six and a Half Consulting. She’s all about connecting unlikely parties for impact. In the summer she gardens and sails. The rest of the year she schemes for good. Heck, she does that in the summer too!

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