The Art of Showing Up to Support Organizational Culture and DSP Well Being
By John Dickerson May 29, 2020
How practicing connection, compassion, and creativity can shift perspectives
There is a great book titled The Art of Racing in the Rain. It’s a wonderful story of tragedy and triumph told by the most unusual narrator, Enzo the family dog. If you have not read it, it is worth the time. It made me wonder how a similar observer would tell the story of how leaders are showing up for their team, the people they support, and their families.
Throughout the pandemic we are seeing people “show up” in entirely new ways. Technology offers an opportunity to show up: regular virtual coffee hours with staff; doing a happy hour virtually with teams, checking in by Zoom to ask “How are we doing?”; asking how their family is doing; supporting people with disabilities to video chat with family and friends.
A car parade celebration by organization leaders has been a remarkable success for several agencies. Feeling you are part of the team is essential for everyone to make it through this. Six months ago, would we even have thought that we would be doing this?
Here are some ways teams are showing up to support organizational culture:
- One organization developed a Life-Long Learning Facebook page. Every hour there are classes such as art, exercise, job preparation and cooking. People participate whether they are from their organization or not.
- We’ve heard from staff how much a simple check-in means to them. Genuinely asking, “How are you?” and “How can we better support you?” goes a long way. People are responding as not just essential workers, but incredible workers.
- And of course, as leaders share their message via Quillo, staff appreciate knowing what is going on and what they can count on. Feeling connected is so very important during this time when we cannot have physical contact with friends and family (Check out Quillo’s recent message about “Why My Doctor Looks Different During Covid-19”).
We are learning lessons, and as we move forward we want to keep doing them because they work. What have you learned over the last weeks? Have you made note of what has really worked? How differently are you showing up from six months ago?
Practicing the art of showing up and supporting well being
Think of it from the perspective of Enzo. How would your narrative be told by an observer who can understand you and tell your story? Or a friend watching how you have adapted and changed during these times? What would they say is the biggest change they have seen in you? Is it greater compassion, concern for your coworkers, or greater patience? If the pandemic has forced us to push pause on many aspects of our life, what values are you taking with you? How will you paint your canvas (Check out the Quillo video for more)? We have all proven we can be extremely effective at changing with the times. Now we need to take note and keep those lessons close to us as we plan for whatever comes next.
There is an ART to showing up, and we learn it by practice, listening to others, learning from what we do, and growing. We need to practice it at a time that is perhaps the most stressful and time consuming in our history. But we can do it.
Thank you for all you do for so many every day and practicing the art of showing up. You are making a difference.