Just because we could didn’t mean we should!
Respect people’s wishes, as others may not be quite so relaxed about ‘freedom day’.
I went to my first party on Saturday; limited to 30, and all adhering to guidelines, of course.
There were lots of friends I hadn’t seen in person for 18 months or more, people I so wanted to give a great big hug.
But just because I could, it didn’t mean I should. There were some who, for a variety of reasons, were still nervous about being exposed to any risk, and wanted to maintain their distance. It would have been easy to forget this and leave people feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable.
Just because freedom day has finally arrived, I believe it’s really important we respect people’s wishes when it comes to the degree of contact they are happy to have, be those team members, customers or suppliers, or simply people we pass on the street.
It’s easy to forget that when something isn’t important to us, that it might still be very important to others around us. Just because we’re double jabbed and happy to get up close, doesn’t mean everyone else is.
It’s prompted me to mention two things I’ve written about before, which it wouldn’t hurt us to keep in mind…
Understanding the individual
As Stephen R Covey describes in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, understanding the individual is probably one of the most important deposits you can make in what he calls the Emotional Bank Account.
What might be important for you may not be perceived as important for others. And vice versa.
He suggests that what is important to the other person should be as important to you as the other person is.
In the context of personal safety and how comfortable people feel in the workplace, now might be a good time to follow up on your return to work interviews, as a lot has changed since then.
In a previous blog, when discussing return to work interviews I suggested it was important to discover how they feel about being back at work.
It’s still early days with restrictions lifted, and although they might feel fine now, as customers’ and suppliers’ behaviours change, this could lead to team members feeling more vulnerable.
What concerns do they now have, now that restrictions have been lifted and more people have been vaccinated? Do they ever feel uncomfortable about any of the tasks they need to perform, or situations they find themselves in.
Remember, some people are very good at putting on a brave face; listen to their tone and watch their body language. Listen out for the things they don’t say or any questions they avoid answering. You may need to probe a little to get to the heart of any concerns.
Let them know you are there to support them, and to come to you with later questions, concerns or suggestions. Reassure them of your commitment to their safety and ongoing support.
If you only do one thing: And if anyone in your team, customers or visitors want to maintain their distance, or wear a mask, please respect their wishes.