Many Agile Coaches, Change Consultants, and Executives called me this week to mention how hard these days have been for them and how stressed they feel about the current situation in Ukraine. If you feel the same way, you aren’t alone.
Therefore, we’d like to emphasize that we need to be more careful and patient in our dealings with each other in the coming days. This loss of focus and anxiety could, in turn, make it more difficult to make good decisions in the company.
You should keep in mind that the emotions in your brain are connected to the same channel through which decision-making information flows (the limbic system). In other words, your thoughts and actions are colored or distorted by the emotions of the current events. This could amplify the fears of some team members and lead to situations that wouldn’t otherwise occur.
If you notice this happening, try to use games or dynamics to help people have fun and achieve goals, and make sure everyone has the space to voice their concerns.
Before meetings, you can help team members focus on their breathing and take breaks to pay attention to their thoughts. The most important thing to remember about breathing is that you always inhale, but exhale much more slowly. 1-2-4 breathing is a good technique for relieving stress. That’s, you inhale in one tempo, hold for two, and exhale in four.
Make sure participants have 5 to 10 minutes between meetings, rather than scheduling them all back-to-back. This can help them relax and feel more comfortable.
Laughter and a sense of humor are also good options. A new study shows how laughter affects the brain, which may explain why laughter plays such an important role in social bonding.
"Our results show that the endorphin release triggered by social laughter may be an important pathway that supports the formation, reinforcement and maintenance of social bonds between people." Professor Lauri Nummenmaa, Turku PET Center, College of Turku, Finland.
At the same time, it’s possible that people are more likely to have a biased or negative view of reality during social interactions and especially during meetings. In these cases, you can ask any of the following questions to help people regain control:
Answering these helps them focus on facts (rather than emotionally charged thoughts) and gradually activates the prefrontal cortex, our thinking brain.
The more positive evidence you can provide by answering the questions, the easier it’ll be to combat the negative thoughts triggered by the current situation. This will make it easier to focus and be in the present.
For many of you, the beginning of the year is synonymous with planning for the next few months in terms of careers and courses. We’re pleased to announce that in March we’ll continue our Certified Change Consultant and Certified Enterprise Agility Leadership Programs in various parts of the world. If you’re in a time zone near the Trainer, we invite you to connect with them and give your organizational change career a boost with the upcoming distance training.
This month, we’re working hard to help the global community learn more about Enterprise Agility, new ways or perspectives on leadership, and new theories for human resources/people. That’s why we’re organizing several free events that will surprise you!