Lockdown Stories - The Support System
It's been precisely 51 days since the lockdown in India due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We suddenly woke up to a world that no one had ever imagined. Thousands of sedulous workers became unemployed, homeless and helpless over night. The fortunate ones ended up being confined in their homes, juggling between their mental states and work commitments. Nevertheless, It is in times of adversities like this, that our learning takes giant strides.
During this lock down I got an opportunity to closely observe two systems rather two leaders and how they countered the situation. Let's call them A and B and today, let me tell you their story.
As system A observed that the employees were struggling with mental blocks w.r.t working from home they first decided to coach the employees to deal with it, they provide flexibility in schedules and trusted them to find their balance. While, system B developed lack of trust in their employees and began micro managing them adding more pressure and stress, negatively impacting their productivity.
leader A constantly connected with their employees and assured them that they were not social distancing, just physical distancing, made sure each employee was heard and their battles were acknowledged, made them feel safe by reinforcing "we're all in this together and we'll come out stronger", while leader B connected with his employees to say "I have hired the best in the industry and I'm paying you for your job, now show me your capabilities".
Employees in system A felt empowered, safe, grateful, developed more trust towards the system and became inspired to give their best, while employee in System B grew anxious, frustrated and lost trust in the system and lived with fear of losing their jobs.
System A grew stronger together, they worked on themselves, expanded their capabilities, shared feedback with each other, held space for each other, and built deeper bonds, while Systems B constantly made their employees feel inefficient, unsuccessful and threatened them of let them go.
What kind of a system would you like to create or be a part of, rather what kind of leader would you like to become or work for?
In an era where people are driven by money and power and corporations thriving on employees' insecurities, Leader A dared to place people above all, dared to create a culture of empathy, trust and collaboration upholding the true meaning of community. Where each member of the community is allowed to be their truest self, learn, grow, stand up for themselves and each other and flourish together. Where "We" is the norm. Does that sound like a dream? Well, it's as real as this lockdown and I consider myself highly privileged to be a part of this system.
How is the lock down treating you?