When considering the rapidly changing environment with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a fair statement that managing change will be key for our personal and professional lives. There is great uncertainty around us, which is easy to be consumed by, and for some even harder to see beyond. The optimist knows that “this too shall pass”, and in good time with a concerted community based effort, we can all work together to create ‘the new world’.

A question we at Sandbox Centre have been asking ourselves and our business community is; how can we collectively take steps to poise ourselves for success in ‘the new world’?

Of course we can’t see everything that will be, but we believe there are certainly steps we can take to position ourselves for success (with a little bit of prognostication).

We discussed how digital tools like video conferencing and virtual meetings will likely play a greater role in our professional lives. This new reality will be grown from the necessity of #socialdistancing. We believe the adoption of these digital tools will also reveal fantastic new potential. Technology will expand our capacity to reach new audiences while also improving organizational communication. What we know won’t change, is how we as people manage ourselves and our relationships. These digital tools equal new methods of communication, which will in turn have a new set of standards and regulations both internally and externally we need to be prepared for. But for the purpose of this conversation – let’s focus on proactivity when it comes to the interpersonal aspects we’ll need to manage in our rapidly changing environment.

How we communicate is and will always be the most important determining factor of our success. Thinking back on some great advice that has been shared, ‘it’s not what you say but how you say it’, which rings especially true as we delve into the practice of social distancing. With the ability to communicate at a distance through digital tools, there is a concern that the ‘human touch’ will be missed. ‘How you say’ – what you’re saying, will need to not only be clear and concise but also emote. Take the opportunity to think before you speak. There will be a greater potential for intent and tone to be misconstrued or even missed, and in other cases dismissed, depending on the recipient(s) personal focus and state of mind. While we’ll be able to virtually connect with each other for a few minutes a day or week, there will be so much more we don’t see or experience in each other’s lives that we normally would in an office or meeting setting. Let’s keep that in mind as we all work on managing these changes. At the end of the day, all we have is how we treat each other.

Being intentional about the perspectives and attitudes we bring to our interactions via webinar will be key in ensuring we remain connected. It is incumbent that we all practice emotional intelligence often referred to as EQ.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer are thought to have developed the term, ’emotional intelligence’, using it in a publication to describe a new evolution of social intelligence. These two eventually partnered with a third psychologist, Dr. David R. Caruso. Together they created an EQ test that expressed your score based on several categories relating to mental health, personal awareness, social awareness, empathy, and more.

Whatever the reason we develop EQ, it includes a very specific set of traits which allow us to measure how high our personal emotional intelligence is. These are the management of emotions, the awareness of our emotions, and ability to use emotions toward a goal, such as problem-solving. Your emotional quotient also works in two directions. One is the way you manage your emotions in relation to others. The second being your ability to detect emotions in others and manage yours accordingly. Therein, EQ is highly regarded as a key indicator in leadership. As we enter a time of uncertainty, now and in the future, it is well worth pause to look inward. Now is a great time to develop our own communication skills.

Leadership can come from anyone inside an organization. The rise of the intrapreneur is well documented. Having the skill set to nurture these individuals will lead to certain success in the ‘new world’. Businesses who focus on reinventing both process and practice will find themselves ahead of the rapidly changing environmental curve. It would seem as though now would be an opportune time to take steps to poise ourselves for what’s next. There is a very real opportunity to take advantage of the many free resources recently made available for our personal and professional development. Check out LinkedIn Learning, and their online professional development series that has recently released more of their certificate courses for free. They feature over 40 courses on EQ which you can access free for 1 month while learning the most in-demand business, tech, and creative skills.

At Sandbox Centre, we offer resources to local businesses here in Central Ontario. This includes resources and support to meet professional development goals through our SBX CNNX Groups. Becoming a good communicator takes practice, but when you have the right connections and information, it’s easy to perfect yours.

For more information on setting goals and improving communications at work, we invite you to visit us on the 2nd floor at 24 Maple Avenue in Barrie, Ontario, and join the Sandbox community on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

Jesse Kerr – Creative Commissioner | Sandbox Centre

Jesse is always multitasking.. . . and seems to thrive when juggling priorities and deadlines.  He’d tell you he’s adaptable because he builds in room for error, adjustment, improvement, alteration and mitigation of foreseeable road blocks into his vision. However, anything that falls outside of this range of acceptability is quickly dispatched because “ain’t nobody got time for that”! He’s not good at collaborating in large groups – but he sure is good at entertaining them!  We’re pleased to offer you his perspective that includes his margin for error; alongside an imagineered vision of greatness. Question is – are we going for good, better or best? Cheers!

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