Increasing productivity and creativity
As leaders our role is to enable our people to be as productive as possible. One often overlooked productivity factor is loneliness. Loneliness is a sense of feeling disconnected from others. It can occur when living in a house full of people, or when living alone. To cancel a feeling of loneliness we need to feel accepted and valued by those around them.
Why is this important?
The energy we use in combatting the yucky feelings of loneliness is not available for mundane tasks of getting stuff done and building relationships. Its insidious effects start compounding as we lose the satisfaction of a job well done, and the joy of feeling connected.
Loneliness saps creativity and increases a sense of unworthiness. You need yourself and your people to be creative in order to adapt to the constantly changing environment. The loneliness of your people makes your work more intense and less enjoyable. Your own loneliness can act as an anchor that holds you back.
What to do?
Now we can meet in groups of ten we can start getting our teams together for regular face to face catch ups, at the end of which everyone walks away feeling heard and validated. Validation means I have heard you and accept that you believe / feel what you say. You don’t have to agree with someone to validate them. Of course the group may start chatting about work stuff. That’s normal and fine. Just make sure people come away feeling connected as much as possible.
If you or others in the group lack listening and validation skills I suggest you simply ask the group to be attentive, patient and kind and do their best not to offer a solution. When we solve without request we are saying “I know more than you”. This is a rapid journey to disconnection and resentment.
Then as usual at the end of the session pat yourself on the back for doing the best you could; do a review of the session to check what went well and why; adapt your next session if needed; visualise how the lives of each of your team may have been improved by your acts.
Visualisation is really important. When we focus on the gains made by others not only does it feel good, but we will likely continue a task longer than if only we gain.