Who do you want to be?

Continuing our theme this week of finding our rhythm in lockdown – here’s a really thought-provoking graphic that has crossed our paths in a few different places now, and really got us thinking about what this might mean for you.

It takes the well-established concept of three development or learning zones, and applies to it a number of responses and behaviours related to the current situation.

(Sorry there is no credit shown for this – we’ve not seen a source attributed on any of the shares we’ve seen, nor have we been able to find one. We’ll have to settle for being grateful for someone’s thought leadership, without being able to thank or credit them personally.)

Look, we’re not in the business of telling you who you should be. We’d never do that at the best of times, and certainly not during a crisis when we know so many other influences, pressures and emotions are at play.

But you know we are all about communicating with ourselves as helpfully as possible, and this model prompts a few thoughts and considerations we believe will help you right now:

  1. So much is going on that you cannot control. So what can you work on that IS within your circle of influence?
  2. Some days you’ll make progress, and then feel like you’ve slipped back into a zone with less control. That’s okay, but what one thing from the next ‘zone’ could you actively choose to do, think or feel to lift your spirits and your energy?
  3. If you are working or trading through this crisis, what will your current ‘zone’ mean for your performance? What impact will your fear have on your colleagues, clients or customers, for example?
  4. Accepting that no one knows what the timescales or next steps are, where do you want to be when we start to recover and move back to normal life? Where in this model do you want to be to give yourself the best possible recovery? 
  5. Moving into a whole new zone is probably a huge task. And, as we said a moment ago, it doesn’t necessarily account for the pressures and uncertainty outside of our control. However, what ONE thing in the next ‘zone’ could you work on to take small steps towards growth?
  6. What signs do you need to watch out for, to resist slipping to the left in this model (or at least to minimise your time there)?
  7. What information are you consuming, and what difference does this make to the zone you are in? What could you stop or start reading/watching/listening to help?
  8. What will it mean for your job or your business to be in the growth zone?

On that last point….we know that for many people running a small business, these emotional responses are causing you quite a rollercoaster in deciding how much to try and trade at the moment. We hear you describing the tussle between ‘need to trade’ and ‘don’t want to profit from disaster’.

That dilemma is normal, and not uncommon. Again, we make no moral judgement…

But we know this without a shadow of a doubt: your communication matters more now than EVER.

The words you use, the tone you use, the way you position yourself – all these will have a lasting impact on your brand and your reputation.

Get it wrong, and people will judge you harshly and with heightened emotion. Get it right, and you will deepen the trust and loyalty people feel for you.

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