How to take your team from Coping to Creating

When the pandemic struck, Taryn offered her clients an online course on the emotional impact teams could expect during the coming months. She named five phases.

  1. Numbness
  2. Coping
  3. Feeling
  4. Creating
  5. Integrating

In this week’s episode, she discusses how most of the people she’s spoken to are stuck in the “coping” mode.

They’re being productive, but they’re hanging on by their fingernails. Leaders need to do something, she says. They just don’t know what it is.

She offers a bridge between the world of “coping” to the world of creativity, innovation and a normal workday.

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The one leadership skill you need to increase engagement

After 42 hours of listening to people’s experiences of work, in this episode, Taryn is talking about how nobody wants to go back to the office full time. Only 3 people out of the 42 have said they would consider going back to the office full time.

People are meeting in person, but they’re not going to the office. They’re meeting in restaurants and coffee shops. Does this mean the office needs to turn into a coffee shop?

Even if you go back to the office, the work is all online. So your team meetings and client meetings are still happening on the screen, and offices aren’t set up for that. The WiFi can’t cope with all the simultaneous on-line meetings, the open-plan offices don’t give people enough privacy and are too noisy for effective online work.

In the mean time, the job of a leader stays the same: build engagement, team cohesion and a sense of purpose. Before March 2020, leaders could say they were building engagement and community because people were together in the office. But that wasn’t necessarily the case.

The leadership opportunity is to use become intentional and skilled at building the employee experience and meaningful team engagement. How can leaders use the online meeting tools as ways of building connection, not as task management tools?

Listen to the podcast to find out more.


What is it like to be on the receiving end of you?

What is it like when your boss walks into a room? How do people react? How does the dynamic change in the room?

What about when the CEO walks in? Or your biggest client?

You know what it’s like for you, when they walk in. But now think about how the dynamic changes when it is you who is entering that space, whether it’s in person or on a video call.

Do you like the impact you have on other people when you enter their space? Do you even know how they experience you?

Your presence is always felt by others, whether you are in a meeting, in a conversation with someone, sitting across the dinner table or walking into a shop. Your presence matters always.

As you advance in your career and become more senior, the meaning of your presence in people’s lives changes. The more you understand how you impact the people you are dealing with, the more you can choose that impact consciously and wisely.

One way of finding out is by watching what happens when you leave the room. Are people energised or drained when you leave? Another way is to facilitate a team conversation to help you move towards the impact you want to have.

How did you find out about the impact you have? Let me know in the comments.


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