We are approaching our first anniversary of remote working (for those of us lucky enough to be working); not one worth celebrating perhaps, but certainly one worth noting. Collectively we have had to adapt to this new style of "office life", and have done so with such rapidity that returning to what was normal has become seemingly impossible.
People far more clever than I have written, and no doubt will continue to do so, on the architecture of the workplace of the future, hybrid working and emerging employment patterns. I know, for better or worse, there has been a seismic shift and that the "new norm" is no longer "new". But, it has left me thinking, as I tap away at my keyboard from my remote office, in remote Devon, that - more than ever before - we have to work at being ok.
The truth is, being in the real (rather than virtual) office gives us energy. Energy we can draw upon to lift us, shift our mood, spur our creativity, hone our thoughts. That energy can be harder to draw upon from our home office, and it can be all too easy to let unproductive, negative, thoughts overtake us. You might even find that before you know it, and out of nowhere, you find those thoughts inopportunely spilling out of your eyes during a client Zoom call. Stranded, crying on Zoom. Awkward.
As we all know, coz Tom Hanks told us, "there's no crying in baseball". But the truth is there is, in baseball and at work. And I know, because so many people have told me, spiralling emotions have become more commonplace than ever over the past year.
Working from home is hard, often we are a team of one. Jump starting our own reserve wells needs energy, and finding energy needs reserve wells. It takes effort to self-deliver a Tom Hank's style dugout talk, but we need to do it.
There is a state that executive and lifestyle coaches (and boy their skills are more important than ever) call the "coach state" (still thinking of you, Tom Hanks). This is a mindful state of awareness, a consciously deliberate way of thinking that helps us tap into the present moment, to focus on the task in front of us, and let the extraneous detritus pass us by. By being aware of this state, we can choose to step in and out of it, using its power to shape our working day.
I have found immense power in just being aware of it and, even when I have found my emotions drifting, I have found myself able to tap into it more and more often. It might not always be easy, but it is always uplifting.
For the past few months at Flagship we have been sharing our Commanding Conversations Podcast with our friends and colleagues. This month it is with the superb executive coach Sue Leeson. It is an hour-long masterclass in the coaching state, and much more. I cannot recommend listening to it more, check it out on our podcast channel here.
Oh, and also, check out Tom Hanks in a League of Their Own, you will be glad you did.
in order to progress through change, it is important to cultivate qualities such as flexibility and stability, balance, connection and the ability to let go: being centred, and in your “inner zone of excellence”. This can help us move through times of adversity.