It’s 2020. That sentence might be the most powerful statement during our current situation. People working from home, children learning online, and businesses adapting to new norms, and the list goes on. Covid-19 has initiated a transformation that is causing anxiety, stress, and discomfort for the entire world. Also, it is testing how quickly we adapt to understand emotional intelligence as human beings.
“It’s imperative for enterprises to build in the necessary operational resiliency to survive this new reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has showcased the value of IT and digital transformation, and organizations should use this time to accelerate the transition.” – Forbes
As we are taking this journey, we immediately try to focus on tools, processes, and how we can continue our day-to-day operations in this digital world. What we forget is that we are humans and not machines. Change takes time; businesses and organizations must understand this is for the long-haul, not the short term. I have personally witnessed engineers and employees burning out for not taking the time to accept the changes that are happening. We want to promote a culture that brings happiness to people. How do we make agile human again?
Meet people with empathy – understand the situation around us, give people space instead of solutions, and be there with them. I see many tools, processes, and metrics shared during these times but no data to see how teams feel within. We sometimes forget that we are working virtually; we jump from one zoom call to the next without understanding the room’s energy. These things are essential for our agile community to promote healthy interactions and engagement with your teams.
Invest in YOURSELF
Understand mental health. We have many things happening around us. I have felt the depression effects of working from home, and at some point, we need to take a break. Spreading energy and positivity starts from YOU. If you are happy and healthy, then only will you be able to extend that energy to your clients, family members, and loved ones. Take some time off to focus on physical health, perhaps join a yoga class, or use this time to connect with others on topics that make you excited and happy.
Take the opportunity to learn something new, read a new book, get a new hobby, do something that takes your mind off work, and give some time to unwind and relax. Incorporate fun activities, have a laugh with your team, maybe even do breathing exercises on the first 5 minutes of your daily standup, but make sure there is a transition to help us all stay human and have the ability to connect.
Connect and build TRUST
During this time, find ways to connect with people. The level of connection has to be deeper since we are all in this virtual environment and riding this roller coaster of emotions at the moment. Have more happy hours (virtually of course…), like literally, we need that. Try to make it so you can be face-to-face. Have the collaboration tools help guide, and not be overused that there is no human connection.
…feeling socially connected, especially in an increasingly isolated world, is more critical than ever. The benefits of social connectedness shouldn’t be overlooked. – mindwise.org
Keep it Simple
We have several actions, wisdom, and knowledge shared within our community, but don’t overwhelm yourself by taking everything at once. Take some time to simplify things by prioritizing what needs to finish. Don’t try to do everything at once. Take some time away from social media, news, and politics if you need to. As an Agile community, we need to realize that there is a lot of information out there. We need to simplify it for the user community as our customers and clients are most likely dealing with other things that may be far more stressful. Understanding how to make things simple and not increase complexity will help us not to overthink things and add to the chaos and stress we live in. We are social beings who need time to adapt and pivot to this new reality.
Understand that there will be light at the end of this tunnel, 2020 may sure be tough for our teams, family, and loved ones, but this is the time for us to take a step back and leap forward on all the items that we have in our backlog. I encourage you all to help lead the way, connect with those who need help, and let’s all make agile human again.
As an Agile Evangelist, I am calling all agile professionals to help with our #MakingAgileHumanAgain initiative by sharing your thoughts on what steps are you taking to keeping teams, organizations, and individuals motivated during these difficult times? Do you feel that many frameworks/organizations miss the emotional intelligence embedded in their training/guidance? How can we better integrate this and adapt to this new normal?