The world is different, change has occurred. We are all participants, and no one is immune.

At times you feel like a failure, at time you feel like a winner, at times you do not feel anything. Over the course of a day, hour, or minute, you may feel some or all these emotions. You are not crazy, and you are not alone.

I am sure you have heard the phrase “the only constant is change,” it is true. Things are changing so rapidly that our new phrase could be “what’s next?” Don’t you wish you knew? No one does.

Over the last weeks you may have assumed you knew the next fork in the road, the outcome of your loan application, the implications for your businesses and your life, and how others would respond. You used your intellect, resources, research, and advisors, but still the outcome was other than you expected.
When it comes to the question of “what next?” The logical response is to make a sound decision in the moment and for the moment. You are creating your next outcome out of thin air.

Could it change? Yes! Will it change? Probably.

Here are strategies that you can use to assess and communicate with credibility and compassion in these uncertain times.

• Gain insight and perspective from an objective third-party. Now is the time to discuss your situation and potential options with someone who is not emotionally involved or invested in the outcome. Consider the information and insight you receive. If you hear an “out of the box idea”, this is the time to be creative and receptive.
• Start each conversation or email using an intro, “As of 10 a.m. on April 30, this is what I know, and this is how we are going to approach the situation.”
• As the leader, your team believes you “have all of the answers.” Your approach needs to be direct, honest, and vulnerable. Things may change!
• If you pivot and find you need to change your approach, own it, and explain the reasons and next steps. Reasons could include, “I just learned …”
• End each conversation or email using an outro, “If anything changes regarding the topics discussed, I will communicate those updates in our next meeting or discussion.”

Honor people’s fear and trauma. We have all experienced some type of trauma in our life; illness, the death of a loved one, losing a job, divorce, etc. Each of these situations leave an indelible mark in our memory, heart, and soul. When difficult situations occur, you move through them with fear, insights, and relief. You are forever changed on the other side and live a “new normal.”

Fifteen years ago, my house burned down, and I lost almost everything. I lived with my best friends for nine months while I was rebuilding my home and my life. When I thought I had it “all together,” I would be faced with a new challenge and a fear that inevitably brought new insights. During that time, I experienced the generosity of people that I had never even met and came to understand what was “really” important. The keys to my home were delivered on Christmas Day. When I walked in, I sat on the floor and cried in gratitude for the kindness, compassion, understanding, and support of others. The trauma occurred, and I was never the same.

Self-quarantine, illness, lack of freedom, being alone or with family, learning about your spouse or kids, home schooling, learning technology, work from home…are the experiences we have endured. Over the last two months, we have each experienced are own level of trauma, and our “normal” will never be the same.

The new normal describes a world that is “different,” an environment that is “renewed,” and people that are “forever changed.”

What’s next for business owners, leaders, and managers? Leading in the future will include skills and attributes that you may not have used previously or often. People will be leaving their self-quarantined experiences and family and going to their work family as a changed person with different expectations.

How do you, the leader, become more authentic, assured, and believable? Discover more about Leading in the Future. Watch posts and email in the next weeks for an invitation to view my free video that will describe 15 characteristics to adopt in this new normal.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ Eleanor Roosevelt