By Una Doyle
Sometimes life just throws you a curve ball and there’s not really very much you can do about it.
That’s what happened to my partner and myself this January when he started to feel unwell a couple of days into the New Year. Roll on a few weeks and he was rushed into hospital seriously ill and since then it’s been a long recovery, now about 95% complete.
So it’s now April, the start of a new tax year and we’ve decided that this will be our New Year.
A chance to start afresh. A chance to put in place the plans we were so excited about back in late December!
There are times in life when you have to admit you are not in control and this was definitely one of them. How do you react when life throws curve balls at you?
- Get mad
- Lie down and cry
- Carry on regardless
Well I briefly experienced each of those at one time or another, however they’re not necessarily constructive!
So I thought it would be useful to look at this from a Talent Dynamics perspective taking each of the energies in turn to see what could be helpful in your professional and personal life.
Trusting in each other, honest and open communication and having each other’s back was essential during this period. We never lost sight of our primary purpose during this time which was to get him well enough to come home and then well enough to fully live life again.
“How clear are you and your team on your purpose? Do you prioritise your activities accordingly or just do the most urgent tasks, reacting to those who shout the loudest?”
I am a Star profile with pretty equal Dynamo and Blaze energies. When the ‘proverbial’ hit the fan I immediately went into emergency task mode. Being able to instantly come up with ideas to solve problems is useful – as long as it’s not overdone.
“How effective are you and your team at problem solving? Do you spend time to establish what kind of problem it is that you have?”
Innovation is not always the solution… For instance in this particular situation Blaze and Tempo elements turned out to be more important.
We both had to ask for help a lot more than usual. It was important to have the support of family and friends both emotionally and practically. In fact, it was the practical help that was required the most!
Thankfully we were also able to call upon some team members we’d worked with previously to help out with the business. And a cleaner was definitely essential too
The vast majority of doctors and nurses that we dealt with were fantastic communicators and that made such a massive difference.
How substantial is your support network? In the event of an emergency who could you call upon? How effective is communication in your organisation and/or family? What could you do now to be prepared with team members and/or freelancers to stand in when required?
Once the initial heart-stopping emergency was over it was a case of constantly reprioritising and rescheduling personal and work activities around his recovery. It took a while for me to realise how much time it actually took to not just visit but travel to and from the hospital and to do (or delegate) the activities he would normally do.
“How aware are you of how long things really take?”
This is important to manage your own workload as well as when working with team members. If you don’t know, simply use a kitchen timer or one on your smart phone to measure frequent activities. If you haven’t got high Tempo energy in your profile you may be surprised by what you find!
Use this knowledge to help you understand the return on investment you get from your activities, consider whether they’re really necessary and if they are, who is best placed to do them.
Understanding the measures being used to mark my partner’s recovery was very helpful, otherwise we would have been completely in the dark about progress.
“How effectively are you measuring progress on the projects and processes that are most important to you?”
Also related to Steel was the adaptability required by my partner (a Lord profile) to adjust to his circumstances while in hospital and then recuperating at home. Lots of uncertainty, noisy and unfamiliar surroundings and people didn’t make this easy, so it was important for me to provide support by being physically there and communicating effectively to alleviate that.
This applies to changes you may be looking to implement in your workplace!
“Do you consider those that may have high Tempo and/or Steel energy that will find change more challenging, no matter how much they may buy into the concept of it?”
Be sure to connect, listen and constantly over-communicate before, during and after the change.
Have you been dealt some rough hands recently and if so how did you handle them? I’d love to hear your views, please comment below.