Today the most widely seen and heard term is ‘the NEW normal’ that is believed to be a very disruptive change, emerging from the Covid-19 crisis. What is this ‘NEW normal’? What relevance has it got to our way of being in general, at the workplace, home-front or at the societal level?
This article is aimed at helping us address key issues that arise in a crisis, including facing the new reality, being our true authentic selves at work and home, leading from our true north (holding important things that really matter), digging deep for the root causes and adapting to the new normal.
A crisis comes when we least expect it. So it helps if we are proactive and start predicting the probable risk scenarios, however far-fetched they maybe. The current situation has undoubtedly taught us important lessons in Risk and Crisis management:
- Keeping the road ahead in sight - There is a need to look at the broader implications of the crisis and what you can do and what are the scenarios you can anticipate
- Stepping up - We have to appreciate the implications of what's going on, no matter how terrible it is. It could throw out all our plans. Everything could be falling apart but we need to realize that we have to step up to that crisis.
- Understanding the new reality as an outcome of a crisis - It is a new reality we're looking at. And the reality is we don't really fully understand it. But we've got to dive in and do the best we can and understand, who's going to be impacted by this crisis and what role do we and our organization have in helping ourselves as well as our customers and stakeholders sail through this crisis?
- Building resilience and bouncing back from tough situations through effective crisis management and leading through crisis
The world today is beginning to embrace the Ubuntu philosophy. It is often translated as "I am because we are," or "humanity towards others," in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity."
According to Michael Onyebuchi Eze, the core of ubuntu can best be summarised as follows:
'A person is a person through other people' strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am.
Major learnings in overcoming the anxiety barrier and ensuring our emotional well-being when we carry on with our daily activities, stepping out of homes - with masks & with social distancing include:
1. Facing the reality of the 'new' normal and acceptance of the same seems to be the first step.
2. Boosting the morale of all stakeholders in our life, be it personal or professional, is a challenge, however connecting to each one of them on a personal level through genuine enquiries about their well-being and about their near & dear, their families seems to break that anxiety barrier in others.
3. Expressing one's own vulnerability in this scenario seems relatable to everyone
4. Sharing own experiences wherein one had been able to successfully take the mind-off the situation by immersing in absorbing activities be it learning, hobbies etc which resulted in a boost to one's emotional well being
5. Being grateful for the most important things in life - health and relationships
6. Choosing more transformational and/or relational social interactions over transactional ones.
The above could serve as an inspiration for self and our efforts in enabling all our stakeholders to overcome anxiety and face the world in a new light.
In short, predicting the NEW normal by co-creating it seems to be the mantra of surviving this crisis. And finally, let’s remember to live by ‘Ubuntu’ – I am because we are!