5 Skills Every Business Leader and Event Professional (and anyone else) should Learn from COVID-19
That’s right. Although COVID-19 is a virus that caused a worldwide pandemic and several damages not just to the global economy but also professionally and to many people’s mental health, we believe that we can learn a lot from this situation too.
In this article we discuss 5 skills business leaders, event professionals and not, can learn from the current COVID-19 crisis, to make us more resilient and bring this situation to our advantage, which is something we always try to do when facing new challenges in life. After all, they say “every cloud has a silver lining”, even the darkest ones.
Every single one of us has been vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19 but not everyone reacted in the same way. Our age and health, for example, influence how we respond to it.
Staying at home makes a difference.
People like nurses, train drivers, delivery men, shelf stockers were all people we didn’t pay too much attention. Now, these people are fundamental to get us through this time of uncertainty.
During these times of lockdown, we surely learnt the celebration of difference, kindness and empathy. Getting on with people gets a huge benefit. Take for example what we do in the UK every Thursday at 8 pm. We clap for the National Health Service! These kinds of attitudes can be translated into the workplace.
It may sound too simple to be true so we challenge you to keep on reading to find out how this can help with your business strategy and how it can help to drive you to the bottom line.
Of course, from the human perspective on how we changed our behaviour, we should remember that not everyone is embracing these changes. So this gives your business a competitive advantage.
In a hurry? Check our video summary of this post:
COVID-19 can teach business leaders and event professionals about Skill #1: DIVERSITY
How can this be translated into business?
The term diversity is becoming a bit of a label nowadays. As we are going through this pandemic what we see is this concept that we are all the same as much as we are all different. Ultimately we are all human.
We learnt to look beyond the obvious and think beyond your usual ways of working. We all understand how we deserve to be treated equally. We should be recognized for our differences, skills, past experiences, believe systems.
So, first of all, we should honestly ask ourselves if, as business leaders and managers, we hire people based on how they look and their style. Should we be looking at those differences? Who do we promote? Why?
People in your team can contribute beyond the obvious.
When we interview new candidates, have we thought of the experiences applicants had in sports? Or a woman having children pursuing a degree at the same time? Can’t that be applied to business?
You hire people not merely based on their skills but especially on their personalities and passions.
Skills can be taught, but attitude can’t!
That’s why, from a purely practical point of view, company leaders should examine their hiring process and notice why they pick the best players, what prejudice are they feeding when they do that?
A very interesting article talks about: How blind auditions help orchestras to eliminate gender bias
Everybody is the same and you should get to :
Know your people.
Focus on your people
Develop your people
Care for your people
Skill #2: LOVE in the workplace
Beyond engagement, we should put love in the workplace. Have you ever thought about it? It’s not a hippie quote. Care and valuing people, is it not similar when loving someone as we care for them?
We are all going through some challenging times, especially in the events industry. We should support and understand each other to learn from each other and this situation and coming out of it stronger and more resilient.
Therefore love should be unconditional, security that people can exist and express themselves in every aspect of who they are.
If that happens surely customers will come back and staff will stay and perform better.
Some people feel uncomfortable to put love in the workplace.
The last few weeks during the lockdown, due to COVID-19, gave us the authority to challenge things and step back. We can’t keep working as we used to anymore.
We started thinking about what kind of individuals we are. And how can we get the best out of our staff?
Our western world struggles with the idea of caring, connection, the focus is on numbers and performance and we lost connection.
Skill #3: Vulnerable Leadership
Vulnerable leadership. You don’t often hear recruitment that talks about vulnerability. Why is it important?
How do you measure empathy, kindness, and understanding? Surveys, feedback, performance, how long they stay…This is intangible.
As a business leader or event professional or any other kind of profession really, vulnerability skills are very important, even if we may have always thought quite the contrary! Mind psychology, thinking system: this is what we understand better. These should be areas to explore to better understand ourselves and our people, which automatically translates in our business.
It takes a little bit more effort to understand yourself and people you work with and that engagement to work together as humans.
People are starting to see it and events are creating more human behaviour. This COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that humans are capable of such changes, why can’t it be the norm?
If you open to others, others will open to you and you will improve performance.
If you are a business leader or a manager we recommend you should take your mask off if you didn’t yet. Putting on the suit of the professional you “should” be eventually will affect you as a person. This version doesn’t feel authentic.
Vulnerability for Business Leaders and Event Professionals requires Skills #4 COURAGE, especially during COVID-19
The world is changing. People buy from people. It has to be done via a video or an Instagram story. Many leaders struggle with that. Leaders should just be themselves, before starting to talk about targets.
As a leader, You should want to evolve. How does a leader lead a team like that?
It comes from the top. If the leader leads in a rigid corporate it will reflect on the team, and there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s not weak to be vulnerable. It’s strength. You are the leader, you have to be resilient, but you are also a human being. Being a leader in 2020 means Not being afraid to pour your heart out.
No harm. Embrace it. Then if you want a more corporate format in a rigid structure way goes for it.
But remember the Biggest change in your business and your team is: talking to someone on a human level. Be authentic.
Skill #5: not missing the opportunity of people strengths
Nowadays a sales pitch turns people off
Business Leaders and Event Professionals should not miss the opportunity of people strengths.
We could be missing out good talent because of prejudices. Business leaders could take this into reality should we look into detail on:
It’s very simple. Talk to people more; ask a few more questions. What people do outside work? How do they spend their time during the weekend? What are their passions? What do they want to share?
Normally, whenever we hire someone these are the common questions that we ask. And if they don’t have anything they can get excited for, how can they get excited about working with us?
To find out about your strengths take this test from the Institute of Character.
See also: 4 Steps to Hire Outstanding Event Staff like a Pro!
THE BOTTOM LINE
We should worry more about the attitude of people and their desire to contribute and being part of the team and less about their skills. The rest can be built on. It doesn’t have to be the other way around. So let’s ask the right questions.
If an organisation has set values, what you are looking for in a person is that set of culture and values. What they bring in is complementary.
Let’s challenge each other. We are hesitant to share our values with others. It starts with business leaders to drive those values.
We should be proud of our business diversity.
Diversity and inclusion are behaviours. It takes time to obtain results. It has to be fluid and flexible. It’s a culture we are growing from within.
You don’t have to promote people to top levels to hear their voices. Hear different perspectives from all levels.
If we gather the right insight from the right people and if we are conscious of this inclusiveness it can make your business go on a new level.
About this topic we recommend you to read: Beyond Engagement: The Value of Love-Based Leadership in Organisations, Book by Yetunde Hofmann
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
What did you learn from the COVID-19 crisis?
Is your company diversified enough?
Do you feel comfortable showing your vulnerability as a business leader, event professional (or other professions)?
Let us know in the comments below.