Why leadership doesn’t need to be complicated…

As the gap of time since the COVID pandemic grows, it can feel wrong to keep referencing it. Yet, it was such a pivotal moment in our history both professionally and personally, that it has become synonymous with numerous changes. Some of those changes in the world of work were needed, even if none of us would have chosen COVID as the accelerant!

In our always-on world, people are weary. You most likely feel that yourself, whether you’re reading this as a leader, a HR professional or an employee. You’re likely to be reading it also as a partner, a parent and simply a person – who is stretched by the constant demands of life.

What the pandemic did was provide most of us with a moment to pause and think. We were not used to that. Not having the myriad distractions of daily life and being forced to sit inside our heads for a bit, especially in those early days of lockdown; it felt quite uncomfortable.

Shifting perspective after a pandemic

What that did was shift our perspective. What mattered and what didn’t came into sharp focus. What (and, let’s be honest, who) we missed and didn’t, was telling. We were desperate to get back to normality and, simultaneously, we weren’t.

It has, undoubtedly, left its mark and nowhere more so than in the workplace. Environments and ways of working that we thought were set in stone have been dismantled or adapted, and much has been transferred to online. Most would never have conceived of the need for a home office and the term ‘hybrid working’ was never uttered.

Whilst there is much that is good and to be celebrated about this significant step forward, there is also an undeniable unease.

Much of what we encounter at Being Human at when we speak to businesses, is the loss of connection between their people. People who once sat side by side for years, now see each other a couple of times a month. Deep relationships that were formed over many years now have a lighter touch, and leaders fear how that will erode over time due to the inevitability of employee turnover. Integrating new team members in has become more challenging and there are concerns over what that will do to loyalty, leadership, and performance.

The joy at the lack of a commute has been replaced by worries over isolation and individuals’ mental health. Leaders ask whether their managers will be able to spot on Zoom if a team member is struggling?

Reconnecting humanity

In a technology-led world where we are constantly connected, but rarely authentically so, our need for human connection can get overlooked. What the pandemic, lockdown and home working did, was bring that need into focus. Humans suffer when they are alone. We need others, not virtually, but in reality. We need to feel that we belong because the need to do so has been built into our DNA since our ancestors were roaming the Savannah and we knew that the difference between being part of a group and being on the edges of it was the difference between life or death.

Bringing back that human connect is what we do. Working with leaders and their teams to bring back the human touch. Our belief based on many years of experience of working with people across a wide variety of organisations and sectors (more than we want to add up between our team!), is that whilst leading people can be challenging, it isn’t complicated. In fact, it mostly takes just a bit of a human approach and, because we are all humans, that means it comes more naturally to us than all the leadership theories and ‘gurus’ would have us believe. It’s why we’ve called our leadership framework SIMPLE.

SIMPLE Leadership

SIMPLE is all about taking people leadership back to basics. To reconnecting with our own humanity in order to better connect with other humans. When we do that engagement and performance increase and, better still, people problems reduce meaning your leaders can focus on what matters to you and your business.

Click below to learn about our SIMPLE approach to leadership