I want this post-pandemic opening to be grand, yes, a grand opening. As I write the word ‘grand’, I can hear my mother saying ‘isn’t that grand?’ or ‘wouldn’t that be grand?’ with delight in her eyes. So often, the grand was about nature, her children’s visits, or a bountiful harvest.
I ask myself, how can I emerge from quarantine in ways that would be grand? What parts of my life do I want to take with me, what do I want to let go of, and how do I want to live this next season of my life.
The pandemic experience allowed me to be more of myself, to honour my natural introversion. The solitude, the pace, more intimate and deep conversations, and more one-on-one work served me well. I am grateful for these experiences and want to take that with me.
I recognize that each person’s experience over the past year and more has varied, depending on age, income, families, where we live or work, and the kinds of losses we have carried. We seem to share deep exhaustion, COVID fatigue, sleeplessness and anxiety and fears going forward. And I am hearing from most people that they want to keep some things they noticed worked, perhaps a silver lining, as they go forward.
What an ideal time to stand at the threshold of our opening and reflect on what we want to take with us or create, to make it our own kind of grand.
Here’s a Process & a Tool To Guide You
For years as a facilitator, I have used a process I call highlights and hopes as a way to help individuals and teams create their future. It involves a positive orientation, noting what is working and what we want in the future by considering 3 highlights of the past, usually the past year or a few months, both personally and professionally, and 3 hopes or wishes for the future, both personally and professionally.
When this is a team activity, individuals can reflect on these questions in advance of a team meeting where each person will share a ‘story’ that involves three points in each of the 4 areas. The group inevitably wraps up with a focus on both individual and team growth and priorities. Here’s a guide if you want to give it a try.
I also use this tool as a check in for myself in times of change, or informally in conversations with groups and individuals and appreciate how the focus on what is important for the future,leads to meaningful connection and support.
Keeping in mind my wish to enjoy a simpler life, I appreciated this list of things you miss when you are trying to do it all from Be More with Less.
If you are wanting to be mindful about grand re-openings at work, check these out:
- At Fast Company: Consider the health of your employees as you reopen your office
- At Harvard Business Review: Guide to Planning a Return to the Office
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