I started my business right before COVID-19 hit.
It was a punch in the face to learn that in-person events and networking were taken off the table.
As a newbie to Canada coming from Austria, it was quite a hard hit when knowing only a few people and trying to get the word out.
Yes, you can work with Marketing, SEO, Social Media platforms, memberships, ads…but nothing replaces the human connection and word of mouth when it comes to trust and belief to start working together.
The globalized virtual network events can only do so much for your first-time impression of presenting your business to strangers.
I always say, it is a matter of body language and the touch by physically being in the same room with that person, and even “chemistry” is playing into the game when we connect with someone.
On a deep psychological level, it all matters for your credibility if you are not coming from a place of recommendation.
So, here is how I have been feeling with going through different stages in our changed work & social environment; who knows, you may relate to this:
1. The (Missing) Familiarity
We had to give up in-person socializing and rely on our online skills to meet new people, get the word out, and try to attract potential clients or deal with colleagues, bosses, or employees through distance.
So, what was and is still new to us is the way HOW we communicate as we don’t have the chance to physically pat someone on the shoulder, hug, smell, and perceive our new environment when we are about to connect.
Emotional intelligence, flexibility, and the ability to change quickly are the sustainable parameters for adaptability in new environments that have been a result of these new times.
Expressing appreciation in a different way than right there in the moment and what that closeness can provide is something we have already been pursuing within the last year to adapt to globally changed circumstances.
2. This Change Feels Awkward!
Still, adapting to change sounds easier than it is.
Even when we make a connection through the virtual screen, there remains so much undone.
In the past, when I have met people for a coffee to get to know each other I left that coffee shop or restaurant with a feeling of moving forward (or not), connection, having shared the one or the other laugh, a handshake, a pat on the shoulder (or none of it)…
On the way to my car and the ride home, the meeting still had a certain impression on me and the highlights floated through my mind.
Now, when we are ending our Zoom call, we are shutting down our computer.
We are heading into the kitchen, get ourselves a snack or dinner with the family, or dedicate our time to our next task.
Or, worse, we are going on to our NEXT meeting.
Done. No digestion of what has happened, no actively taken time to sit and process.
Rinse and repeat.
Everything has changed.
Nothing stays the same.
Excitement is low-key when it comes to connecting.
I know that many people feel exactly how I do right now.
All of the above sometimes feels like running in circles, old ways are not working anymore, but new, uncomfortable ways, build the foundation of change.
3. How To Convert Change Into Progress
When we are almost at the point of giving up, there is only one solution to weather the mental storm:
Relaxing. Yes, right – relax!
Keep going and dive straight through the challenge to come out safely and ready on the other side.
You will for sure adapt to the new normal or cherish the personal connection in the future even more so.
I see it as a natural selection of who we are continuing to socialize with and who we won’t have over for dinner or a glass of wine in the future.
Connections evolve, and so does progress.
If change seems uncomfortable and appears to not getting you anywhere, trust the process – it will. Whether back to square one with your lessons learned or ahead with a solution that presents itself along the way.
The only thing you have to take care of is to relax because a relaxed mind is conducive to mental clarity, improved focus, and enhanced decision-making.
Hence, change can happen.
Because in the end, you will never get rid of shifting circumstances, since change is the only constant in life.
>> Need a push to dive through your pool of change? I am here for you!