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Staying CLOSE during Social Distancing & Remote Working

Even though we are slowly coming out of lockdown and people are going back to work, leaders are continuing to grapple with keeping in touch with their people and ensuring the team is intact as they balance life, home and work. A leader today, more than ever before is called upon to be conscious, compassionate and genuinely take an interest int he welfare and well being of their people. If we want to come out of Covid stronger, we need to focus on our key driver – our people.

I shared the CLOSE model, with leaders struggling with active listening and inspiring engagement.


1. Connect Appropriately :

Keep connections alive. Try different ways – virtual team lunches maybe, a great way to connect those at home and those in the office. May also give us opportunity to get to know the family!


2. Listen Actively :

LISTEN & SILENT have the same spelling. Keep quiet and truly listen to everyone speaking. Allow silent space, especially when technology is not stable. Use empathy, it doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything.


3. Observe Attentively :

Look out for what is said and unsaid. Pay attention to how people are responding to isolation, new technology, those who may look and feel ‘not-so-together’. Who’s not responding to deadlines. Individual work styles and personality differences. Who are the owls and who are the early risers.


4. Share Meaningfully :

These are times of uncertainty, talks about pay cuts, closures and mergers are in the air. Share verified and validated information on what is and not going to happen, what customers and management are saying and what’s the business situation. It will go a long way in allaying fears and rumours.


5. Engage Deeply :

Encourage friendships, and buddying up, learning tech together for instance. Encourage and advocate that being vulnerable is a strength not a weakness, allow people to speak up and don’t judge or minimise anything or anyone.


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