The Power of Adaptability – changing circumstances, working remotely and creating positive impact

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Original Date: March 24, 2020

 

Join this live webinar with Silke Zanker

Silke Zanker, Axialent Partner, is one of our global experts working with clients in fast-changing circumstances and has vast experience in working in remote ways. She has an extensive meditation and mindfulness background and believes this is key to our ability to stay grounded in these highly uncertain times.

In this webinar Silke will share:

  • How to face this situation in an effective and connected way
  • The importance of focusing on what is in our control
  • How to collaborate effectively when working remotely

When:

Tuesday 24 March

11am ET / 5pm CET

Transcript

Becky:

Hello and welcome. We are here with Silke Zanker, our Axialent partner and who will be hosting this webinar. Welcome to the lead transform webinar, the Power of Adaptability. This is one in a series of webinars where we connect with the 30 to 45 minutes to bring to life the challenges we see in the world and what to do about them. In this session we will be connecting around how to adapt to our changing circumstances, working remotely and creating positive impact.

Becky:

Our speaker Silke is one of our global experts working with clients in fast-changing circumstances and has vast experience in working in remote ways. She has an extensive meditation and mindfulness background and believes this is key to our ability to stay grounded in these highly uncertain times. We will host the Q&A at the end of the session. If you have any questions during the presentation, you can write them to us in the questions section or there’s also raise your hand button and I will unmute your microphone when we answer the questions at the end of the webinar, over to you then Silke.

Silke Zanker:

Thank you, Becky. Welcome everyone. And yeah, well, thank you for making the time for showing up. So many of you attending live from all over the world. Really a heartfelt welcome and to start with, we’re sending our best wishes for you, the health of yourself, your family, your colleagues, and really appreciate that you’re reaching out in times like this because we do believe that together we are stronger and today’s webinar is under the umbrella of how to really leverage the power of adaptability. And my intention is to share some of our experience and insights that we’ve had in leading and working in remote ways for many, many years around the world, but also helping our clients personally and their organizations and their teams to adapt to really changing and fast-changing circumstances.

Silke Zanker:

And I guess for all of us, these circumstances right now are very unprecedented circumstances. So yeah, my wish is that you’ll get a couple of nuggets out of this webinar. And my invitation is that you reach out, that you share your insights with us, your experience and questions so that then we can enter in a dialogue. So I’ll be presenting a few ideas. I’ll guide us through an experience and then in about 20 minutes or so, we’ll open up for questions and for comments and please reach out and share your experiences because we do not have a playbook for the current circumstances. And I believe that right now compassion and collaboration are as important as most likely in many our lives have never been before. So we are really called to be leaders and to look at what it means to be a leader.

Silke Zanker:

And so really looking into how do we work with the circumstances that are currently at play and the outer circumstances is one thing but as we all know, outer circumstances create inner circumstances. And so to have the awareness as leaders to really know, okay, so what’s going on for me is probably going on for other people as well. And, and so we have changing circumstances internally and externally and it’s interesting to observe, I believe like the narrative in the corporate world for the last year certainly has been around disruption and fast-changing circumstances and… But some of us probably very present in our industries and for others maybe not so much yet, but right now what’s happening in the world, that really is disruption pure and so everything that we know and how to work with changing circumstances is called to the forefront.

Silke Zanker:

And like I said, I really believe that right now is the time to lead. It’s the time to change the paradigm of leadership because what worked even a few weeks ago is not working anymore today. So my question and really my call to all of us is after things maybe have settled around as in on the first few days and the first week now looking at what’s coming next, how can we shape the future of what’s coming next for our companies, for our people and for ourselves, and really truly step into what leadership means for us. And in the storm that’s going literally going on in the world right now, my belief in our belief here at Axialent is that consciousness and… Doing business in a conscious way, living in a conscious way, we’re being called to be the eye of the storm, to be that center that is common, that is grounded.

Silke Zanker:

And before we go into any more practices around how to lead remotely, I invite you to lead from that place. And I know it’s not easy and I think it’s really worthwhile to strive for that, to ask ourselves the question, how can I be that center calm place in these circumstances for myself, for my family, and for my organization. So before we dive into the next step of the webinar, let’s just take one moment to center ourselves and maybe that’s the first time you have a moment today to breathe and do that. And if you are sitting or standing, standing is actually a really good thing also for this webinar. But if you’re sitting or standing and if you’re in a safe place where you are not driving you can close your eyes then please follow me and otherwise simply listen.

Silke Zanker:

But I invite you to just simply follow me for the next two, three minutes to center ourselves. And to start with what we’ll do is just interlace our fingers, stretch our arms out and inhale, take a deep breath in, stretch your arms up, raise and then exhale and lower your arms to the sides. Do that one more time. Sit upright. Stand upright. Inhale. Interlace your fingers. Breathe in, raise your arms, exhale as you gently lower your arms to the side. Very good one last time. Interlace your fingers. Inhale, stretch up. Lengthen yourself. Pause at top of inhale and then gently exhale. Close your eyes for a moment if you can, make you feel like. And then simply connect with your breath, become aware of your breath, and just for a couple of inhales and exhales cultivate that awareness of your breath. Our breath is one of the fastest ways to regulate our emotions and calm our mind.

Silke Zanker:

Okay. And now as you are aware of your breath, the only intention that you have right now is to create a smooth, even inhale and exhale. So inhale and exhale in a smooth even way effortless. So don’t force anything, in your own capacity. Smooth inhale through the nose and smooth and even exhale through the nose as well. Effortless. It’s just a few more rounds of inhale and exhale. Stay effortless and stay focused on your breath. And then one last round. And then open your eyes and put a smile on your face because only in quiet waters things mirror themselves, undistorted. Only in a quiet mind has an adequate perception of the world.

Silke Zanker:

So my invitation, our invitation to you is whatever it takes for you to center yourself, do it. Take that time and I hope you felt something, but that took like two, three minutes. So whatever your centering practice is, make it for and foremost, here at Axialent we do that when we meet in virtual meetings. And maybe in the beginning it’s a bit awkward, but that will soon fade because we just get used to how powerful the breath is. And in the current circumstances, we’re also reminded of our shared humanity. So pausing a few times during the day to do something that helps us to have clear perception, to know what to do next, to know how to come from a place of compassion and clarity, in my opinion, is really worth the time. And if you have questions or you’d like to go through this practice again, or would like to share anything, please reach out and we’re very happy to share more with you and also share with you what we do when we are in teams.

Silke Zanker:

So now let’s look at leading remotely and how adaptability is a really superpower in when I lead my teams remotely. And the interesting thing, so I read a study the other day where the data was for the US but I believe it’s probably for a lot of Europe and Asia Pacific also applicable that although many more companies have been working remotely and in dispersed teams all over the world, that 40 to 50% in this case American companies actively did not promote people to work from home. So now most of us are in a situation where we are forced to work from home where we don’t have another choice, but that doesn’t mean that the underlying assumptions and the underlying mindset of many leaders has changed just because now the situation is different.

Silke Zanker:

And that’s the first part that I really want to give you, check your underlying assumptions that you make about leading and working in a remote way. And be really honest with yourself. Because to be effective and to collaborate effectively when we lead remotely like a lot of things get in hand. So whatever you know about leadership, when you are with people in person, just put a magnifying glass on, that really is my experience having worked over 15 years in that way. Communication gets enhanced, trust, whether there is trust or distrust, it gets enhanced. If we have a tendency to maybe create environments where people don’t speak up, it gets enhanced because we don’t see each other, and we have to make a very conscious effort.

Silke Zanker:

So my first tip is do that for the inquiry and have that conversation with your peers as well. What do they actually believe about leading remotely? Do we think it works, it doesn’t work and why? And so if you flip that and if you change your perspective and say, I want to be the best leader possible in this situation, my question is, how can I become that is a very different starting point. Or to ask yourself, what can I do to create trust in the fastest possible way, but generally in trust with my people, and I’ll be sharing some ideas in the next couple of minutes for that.

Silke Zanker:

So adaptability is a big word and adaptability always has context, what… If I say one of yours is very adaptable that would mean something else for another person or for me or for one organization and another organization. So there is not one definition of what adaptability should look like or could look like. But what it is, is it’s adapting to circumstances and it is adapting as an individual, but also as a team and as a culture. And my view of adaptability is yes, we adapt to changing circumstances, but we also want to be proactive. So my question to you is, what are you adapting towards? What are the goals that you are adapting towards, because in the current situation, it’s very easy to kind of put life on hold and firefight. And if we look at the responsibilities we have for people and well for society, I think it’s very, very important that we don’t put life on hold but that we really have clear goals, clear goals for how we lead through crisis. And also clear goals for what we see comes next.

Silke Zanker:

So adaptability is related to circumstances and context has a lot to do with our mindset and how open we are to actually change our behaviors and change our habits. And that’s where it starts. It starts with the willingness and the courage to say, even if we’ve never done this before, it’s okay to change. It’s okay to for one time, start with mindfulness practices in a meeting, it’s okay to ask difficult questions, but it’s also okay to be compassionate and give people time to really understand how we’re doing.

Silke Zanker:

So adaptability is holistic and I think that’s also something that we’re being shown very clearly by the current circumstances. It has… When I look at our roles as leaders, now it is super clear that we all have families and environments and friends, we have a personal life, we have a professional role too that we are responsible for. But we also have our health and the health of the people around us. So a lot of conversations when we say, well, leading life is about leading a holistic life and health is important. Well, right now we can really walk our talk. And we can do that for our employees and our colleagues and our partners as well.

Silke Zanker:

So the adaptability towards a shared future, towards a future that is a bright future. And the ability to adapt to the circumstances is really at the core of leadership. And one part on how to do that successfully is if we focus on what is in our control, really focus on what is in our control. And it is a good example, we are not responsible for the current situation directly. But we are responsible for how we respond to the current circumstances. In the circle that we can control and that we can influence and we can control our behavior. We can control how much we reach out to people, how caring we do that, how much as a leader, we take time now to set up processes and systems that support people, but also how much effort we put into influencing our communities, society at large.

Silke Zanker:

What do we as companies, as organizations do, to create a climate in the world that is a positive climate? How do we communicate? How do we invite stakeholders, partners, competitors integrate solutions that we can’t create by ourselves, but to focus on what is in our control is absolute key in times like this and if you should ever feel like, “Oh my god this is getting too much and I feel overwhelmed.” Come back, center yourself and really ask yourself what is in my control right now and very quickly you will come to the realization, okay, how I think, how I respond, what I do next that’s what is in my control.

Silke Zanker:

So break down even… Because this webinar is about how to also lead in a remote circumstance. So break that down, what is in your control, well in your control is how often you reach out to people whom you empower to take which decisions right now, how clearly you communicate, and how much positivity you bring to people because it really, really matters.

Silke Zanker:

And so one of our key beliefs in Axialent is that connection comes before context and contexts comes before content. And that’s a key for a successful remote team, no matter whether in crisis or not, connection is absolute paramount. What does connection mean? Well, first of all, of course, you could say connection means that I’m connected to myself that I’m clear and that I am showing up as the best version of myself and what does it take for me to be there? That’s one. But the second thing is connection to people that are in our teams, but also our clients, our suppliers, other stakeholders in our environment. And connection does mean to take the time to connect, to take time to listen and actually right now I would say to take time to listen every single day. To ask questions and if you feel like I don’t know what Sandra over there and in this country is doing right now, how she’s feeling.

Silke Zanker:

It’s your responsibility as a leader to recreate that connection to every single person in your team. And for everybody, this will look in a different way. But I am going to be sharing a few tips later on that find a way to create that connection with people. Context, so connection, as a basis, as the bedrock of trust, before context and context like I said when we spoke about circumstances, our context right now has changed. But it’s changing daily, sometimes on an hourly basis. And I heard from a friend the other day, he said, “Well, last week when we all were sent home to work from home, my supervisor had a conversation with me, and we spoke and it was all fine, but he didn’t ask me how I was doing in the last seven days.”

Silke Zanker:

Like the context is changing every single day right now. So let’s keep really in mind how important that is because what’s happening in the world and we don’t know what’s going on for somebody. And it’s much harder to place, either what you can expect from someone or place somebody’s behavior. So just be really aware how the context is changing very quickly, and be very, very proactive. And now is also the time to be courageously proactive. And maybe you can be the person to call one of your suppliers or to call a company that works in the vicinity and say, “How are you guys actually dealing with this? What are you doing?”

Silke Zanker:

So really, be aware of the context and create an empowering context for people and then move on to the content because content is important and we are responsible for keeping business going and creating results that benefit our organizations and that benefits society at large and it’s a paramount responsibility for leaders because we know that we are here to thrive and we want to enter the market also with helping hands and for that we need success on an economic level as well.

Silke Zanker:

So in terms of content and leading remotely, really key is to provide structure systems and processes. Take… It really pays off, if you take a moment now to systematize how you communicate, to systematize how decisions are being taken and how the changes that have occurred will be reflected in the structure of your team in the way you communicate with each other and in the goals that you want to achieve and attain. So creating those processes in systems really, really will pay off. And reminding people of the purpose of what you’re working towards is part of the content and is really, really important to highlight. You cannot over communicate right now. So clarity and intention and communication is absolutely key.

Silke Zanker:

So at the last part before we open up for questions I’ll share with you three key points around communication. As it is underlying, once you come to a situation with the mindset of curiosity and taking responsibility, focusing on what is that in your control, you change a team and you change a culture and you make impact, one communication at a time, one conversation at a time. And so my three easy to remember key points are clarity, center, and check. Then we go into more detail, clarity, leading dispersed teams, leading from a distance and still creating a caring, compassionate environment. Clarity is the most compassionate thing you can create.

Silke Zanker:

Clarity of your own intentions in the morning for every meeting, for every interaction for every communication, clear expectation towards people for your team, but also creating clarity and help people create that clarity for themselves to set clear intentions, on a being level, how you want to show up, and what do you want to bring out of yourself and other people, but also in terms of habits and behaviors that you want to create. And it’s always important, but now I believe it’s more important than ever. Create clarity around assumptions. Don’t let people make assumptions, explain yourself and advocate for what you believe and assume good intent, because everybody is simply doing the best they can right now.

Silke Zanker:

So don’t believe any stories that you tell yourself but check them and really assume good intent on behalf of the other people, center yourself. But also the way we show up in particular if we have meetings over Zoom or Skype for business or any other platform. So meetings in a virtual environment, and we do go on camera, our energy matters. You can see that I’m standing, why am I standing because I want to come with the best energy possible to this webinar. And make sure that you do whatever it takes for you to have high energy and that also means take breaks and really be okay with setting boundaries and communicate that to people as well. But also and I kind of sneak that under the centering piece because I didn’t want to create another see, is there is a part of, maybe you don’t want to call it celebration right now. But there is something around creating joyful moments for people.

Silke Zanker:

Life does go on and some people go through extreme hardship right now. And then there is a moment to be grateful for each other to voice that as a leader, to create a moment of social interactions because we can’t do that in the office and we can’t travel right now. So what would it take for your team? Are you celebrating people’s birthday? Are you sending maybe a gift to them for something that they would enjoy? How are you acknowledging if somebody really steps up or simply does their best, so as much as we want to send to, we also want to create joyful moments and high energy in our teams and really let people feel that you acknowledge them and that you appreciate them.

Silke Zanker:

And then lastly, check. And I’ve kind of mentioned that but check in with people, create an environment where it’s okay to share. So we do that at every beginning of a meeting, and even if it’s five minutes, but create those spaces where you say, “Okay, let’s just see how we’re doing. How are you holding up with the kids running around while we’re trying to have a meeting? How are you doing by being by yourself not sharing with anyone?” So create an environment where people feel free to share and where you will listen. But also, like I said, be proactive, reach out and check your assumptions, ask questions and be curious. So those are behavioral aspects but really like whether you use which software and which channel for which communication is really important.

Silke Zanker:

And we have a lot of support material that we can send to you for the more tactical aspects of how to lead remote teams. But it does, like I said in the beginning, it does start with your mindset and your beliefs and your way, your ability to show up at your best right now with compassion and clarity. So although we are being asked to physically to distance ourselves, and I really don’t like social distancing, so physically distancing, but we can still reach out from the heart, and what would that look like for you and for your team? And with that, I would love to hear whether there are any questions or insights or experiences that any of you would like to share. And Becky, maybe you can let me know what we’ve heard.

Becky:

Yes, totally. So thank you so much Silke that was really great. I really enjoy to hearing your thoughts. And I’m also really looking forward to hearing other people’s inputs. So we have a question here from Sandra. She asks, “How do you maintain or keep positive energy over time?” What are your suggestions for that?

Silke Zanker:

It’s a very, very important and good question Sandra. And the very first thing that comes to mind is association. That’s what has worked for me and that is what I recommend every single one of my coaching clients, who do you associate yourself with? If you don’t have it, now is the time to create a support network. Set up regular check-ins with people you trust, your peers, mentors, circles that, whether it is a mastermind circle or just a circle of friends where you say okay our job is to help each other to be in a positive frame of mind. And choose your people wisely. Choose super wisely how much news intake you have, what you listen to, what you read, in particular outside of your work requirements.

Silke Zanker:

So what is it that you do during your lunch break, in the evening, now more than ever, it really matters that you do something that is nourishing to yourself, to your body, but also to your mind and to your soul. So association with the right people and then consuming what is powerful and uplifting and gives you a sense of perspective and empowerment. Those are the two things that I would recommend.

Becky:

Yeah, thank you. We also have Luis who has raised his hand so I will unmute you now and can we hear you now Luis, would you like to speak?

Luis:

Oh yeah, I just wanted to thank Silke because she just brought us back inside because normally we are so busy outside of ourselves. So I just wanted to thank her because this is a difficult time and probably the most difficult exercises to take the world back in. So I really just wanted to appreciate that and the way she conducted it and was pretty clear. Thank you Silke.

Silke Zanker:

Thank you very much. All the best to you

Luis:

Thank you.

Becky:

Thanks Luis, so silence here again now so we can keep everything quiet. Okay, so Silke I have another question here. I’m just going to pull it up. So someone’s asked how are we supposed to or what’s the best way to promote positive energy if we’re feeling that we have low energy ourselves?

Silke Zanker:

All right. Again, two things come to mind straightaway. One is as leaders, we don’t have to have it all figured out. We don’t have to be perfect. In particular right now we’re all human beings and yes, we have different roles and different responsibilities. But it’s also okay to once come and say, “You know what guys, this is a really difficult situation for me right now. I want to do my very best and I don’t know yet how we’re going to do this. So I need all of you and we need each other and I will do my best to come out on the other end in great shape.

Silke Zanker:

So that’s one thing, really the power of, you can call it vulnerability, the power of honesty and also humility as a leader I think will go a very, very long way. And I’m not asking you to have, bouncing around full of energy every day is not possible, it’s not real and it’s okay to also change but what’s not okay is that if we let ourselves go, so then the question is what can you do to increase your energy? What do you know works for you? Like for me some of us are still able to go outside. So can we do that in a safe way? And can you just go and connect with nature even if you stand on the balcony, or can you take some time and completely shut out the world for half an hour and read a beautiful book or listen to music you really like.

Silke Zanker:

So whatever it is that you need to do to recharge your energy, really do that right now. And then one other tip I have sometimes we just know I need energy right now and I have like, five minutes. Okay, so I shared something with you, before we went on this webinars, we didn’t plan this for a long time. So yeah, for me times that are as challenging as probably I suppose for many people. And so we’ve been doing this webinar series many times, and today for some reason, it didn’t work, how to share my screen. So like two minutes to top of the hour still had to figure it out. You can imagine my stress level was pretty high. And then I had to go to everything I know and how to get my energy high. I moved, I jumped around. I drank water. I used essential oils. So whatever it is that works for you, but sometimes you really have to figure out what are the two, three go to things that I have when I need high energy. So those are three things now that I would recommend. Thank you for the question.

Becky:

Thank you Silke. So another question here from Leanne. “How do we have difficult conversations remotely?” Do you have any tips for that?

Silke Zanker:

Thank you, Leanne. This is indeed one of the, I’d say most critical questions really, because very often, even if we have interactions at distance then we would always say, if you can, and if you have to have a difficult conversation, go and do that in person. And right now, that argument, obviously is not so… Doesn’t make much sense. So one very simple tip that I do think is very important is have that conversation in a calm environment, in a dedicated space as much as you possibly can with camera, have the conversation and give the person some time to prepare. And really assume good intents on every side and… Do you know what, I think when you have to have difficult conversations, it’s really worth to prepare them well. So take more time than you usually would. Don’t squeeze it in between millions of other things and quickly have that difficult conversation as well.

Silke Zanker:

I remember Richi Gil one of our cofounders of Axialent always says, “Why don’t we call them difficult conversations? These are the conversations that can become very beautiful conversations if we see them as opportunities for growth for myself and for the other person,” and if you can create an environment like that as a leader, then I think it is possible to have difficult conversations, but they require a lot of care and a lot of preparation and good intent. Yeah, anything else Becky? We may have lost Becky. That’s one other thing by the way. Internet, as we probably all have seen in the last few days is not as reliable as it has been in the past maybe so it is another thing to factor in when you lead remotely, just factor in that not everybody has access to internet all the time or it may not be as fast. So the adaptations and backup plans are really important.

Becky:

Yes, can you hear me now?

Silke Zanker:

Yeah, I can hear you. Yeah.

Becky:

So yes, I think probably the whole world is using the internet because they are locked down at home. So I have…

Silke Zanker:

No, don’t hear you very well. So let me check when I can see one or two other questions. Lucia… So your question is, “Thank you for the amazing insights. Do you have any tips on how to check in effectively with large groups virtually? Okay. So Lucia is referring to what I said earlier a check-in process at the beginning of a meeting. And a check-in process really is a place for people to land, to arrive to share the intention for a meeting and so there’s a few outcomes for a check-in. So it is to create a safe space for people to arrive, personally, to also, to share whatever maybe important for them to share and to say, this is what could hold me back or distract me from being fully present. It’s also a space to give people time to share how they’re doing, but also to align on the intention and outcomes for a meeting.

Silke Zanker:

Now, if you have five people, you can do that and give everybody maybe two minutes to speak and you factor in those 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting. But if you have a large group, let’s say you have 10, 15, 20 or even more people, if it’s 10 people then it’s not a meeting probably any more. So one thing is, whatever you think would work in person, when you do it virtually you need way more time. So my suggestion for check-in with a large group is that if you want to do this very time efficient, I would very clearly state these are the outcomes for the meeting and is there A, is everyone aligned? And if you’re not aligned here, you have a different understanding can you please let me know or us know. And if there’s anything that would be important for us to know, that could hold you back from being fully present right now, then share that so that somebody could say, you know what, I can only be there for the first half-hour and then I have to go or somebody says, “Well, you’re saying this is the outcome for the meeting, but I had a different understanding.”

Silke Zanker:

So you’re not checking in Lucia with every single person but you’re basically opening the space and say, “All right, is there anything that anyone wants to share that’s really important right now or that’s on your mind that would be critical for the most positive outcome of this meeting.” So that’s one way of doing it. And another way of doing it is to actually do a check-in by chat and say, “Okay, so you have two questions. How are you showing up today? How are you doing? And what’s your main intention for the meeting?” And everybody sends in that chat and you can read the chat. So those are two ideas for you right there.

Silke Zanker:

Okay, so I’ll do as many questions as we have blocked until the top of the hour. So let me just see whether there’s any other question. Okay, “What would you recommend to achieve impeccable coordination in this even more challenging remote interaction environment?” That’s a question from Terry. To achieve impeccable coordination. So impeccable coordination in Axialent when we say that we mean really like how do you coordinate actions and in a way that we can really rely on who’s doing what by when we have clear requests and unclear commitments.

Silke Zanker:

So, my tip and my experiences is in a remote environment, it is very important that you are as explicit as possible with requests that you make. And you double-check whether a person has everything they need to fulfill the request. So if you make a request, can you produce a report about our statistics to XYZ by Thursday, it’s not enough to send someone an email in the current time like this and just assume the job is done. So what I will do as leader is I would clearly formulate the request you have. And then ask people, do you have everything you need in order to… Can you say yes to this request? Do you have everything you need? Is there any support you need in order to fulfill that request? And please, if anything would change in your circumstances and your context so that you can’t commit or that you can’t keep your commitment, please do let me know.

Silke Zanker:

And then you have a conversation with the person. Ideally, it’s a conversation and sometimes it’s not possible, then it’s an email, but you do want a reply. And also, if it’s something that is really important in terms of coordination, be proactive and double-check. So if you need that report on Thursday, don’t wait until Thursday morning and just hope it’s being done. Go and double-check on I don’t know on Tuesday or Wednesday, and say, just wanted to double-check with you that we’re still on track, and you know that this is what you’re doing. And here, this is what I’m doing.

Silke Zanker:

And I think it’s a joint responsibility. And Terry, what I would say is have a conversation about this with the team and say, “Times at different, times are changing. Let’s just also not take it personally, if somebody double checks and says are you really doing this.” You know how quickly it can go and then we respond from a personal kind of retake a common personal don’t do that right now. It’s not important. So that’s what I would say with the time I have, but I think that is actually a very good topic for another webinar. Becky, any last thing that you can say?

Becky:

Hi Silke can you hear me?

Silke Zanker:

Yeah. Hello.

Becky:

So we have another few questions. Would you like to go right to the hour because we really have.

Silke Zanker:

I’d say to… If we have one last question, and then we’re going to send the recording of this webinar to all of you. And then if there’s any questions left, where I’ll send an answer with the recording and a follow up email. So if you have one more question that you want to select.

Becky:

So I’m selecting now. We’ve got several. And so Phillip is asking, is saying, “Thank you for sharing your knowledge, could you expand on the culture that you believe is the right one to work virtually.” Or that’s a big question. I don’t know if you can summarize something there.

Silke Zanker:

Well, yeah, again, I think it’s not… This is probably not the answer you expect but I would say it depends. Because the working in a virtual environment is only one aspect for the culture that is the right culture for your organization. See, it really depends on the size of your organization, what is the purpose of the organization? Who are your people? What are you trying to achieve? So there are so many components that play a role. But then yes, there are some underlying aspects of any culture and in particular of virtual environments that I think are really important for our culture. And it goes back to what I said earlier, so one of them is to have a culture of curiosity and openness and not thinking that I know better and not thinking that I can ask questions so to create a culture that has openness, curiosity and trust and a culture where we take responsibility for… Unconditional responsibility for our actions is paramount in a virtual environment because we don’t see everything that’s going on.

Silke Zanker:

So there’s a lot of trust that is required and a lot of proactiveness. So another way to say, taking unconditional responsibility is also to say, a culture where people are proactive. If you see something that needs doing, do it or ask somebody or bring it up. And then the curiosity and the openness that are shared and then one other thing that is at the heart of conscious business and really dear to myself is a culture of integrity, where we know what our values are, where we stay aligned to our values, because now is the time to really show whether we mean business when we say we have values. Now how do you live in the current times through the lens of your values. That will separate great leaders from others and greater organizations where people will go beyond what they thought they could and would do.

Silke Zanker:

And there’s one other story where I just read from a friend the other day, she said, her organization did a lot in the last couple of days to create environments for their employees to really come together and have open conversations, but they also extended that and said, “If you need a little bit more time to look out for your family or for yourself. It’s okay take that time.” And they also donated quite a large amount to research for vaccines. And she said, “For the first time in months, I look forward to being with my colleagues on Monday even though we’re working remotely because I can see how my company is walking the talk and how they care and how to do something that goes beyond the profit and that really cares for the people.

Silke Zanker:

So I think those are aspects of your culture that I would look at right now and that doesn’t need to be like a big culture workshop. It needs to have focused intention and everyday check-ins to saying, “Okay so how are we doing?” So great questions. Thank you, everyone for your engagement, for showing up. And please do share with us. And what we’ll do is like if you don’t want… If you want this to be anonymous, very happy to do so. But share your experiences and what works and what you find challenging and we would love to also in our create a community amongst our clients and our friends and consultants where we can help each other in these times to be the best we can be for our organizations, for our people and the world.

Silke Zanker:

And so reaching out from the heart and really meaning it so if you would love to have a follow-up conversation and please reach out, I’m happy to jump on the phone or Skype or whatever it would be or send me an email. I think my email address is on the next slide. Here we go silke.zanker@axialent.com. And we’ll be at your service. So have a good evening, stay strong. And be that pillar of light and hope in the world that people need right now. So, thank you everyone and bless you.

Becky:

Thank you Silke.

Silke Zanker:

Bye

Becky:

Goodbye.

 

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