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30 March 2020

Keep Safe, Follow The Rules, Be Positive and Be Strong

Keep Safe, Follow The Rules, Be Positive and Be Strong
Nick Fewings established Ngagementworks to help organisations transform their teams and achieve even greater success. Here he looks at how we can all help each other to get through these difficult times, whilst ensuring our personal wellbeing and that of others doesn’t get adversely affected.

“The last few weeks have certainly been the most surreal, worrying and life-changing in my life and no doubt, the same for you. I don’t think anyone saw this coming, in terms of the massive changes that would happen to both our personal and business lives.

So how can we help each other to get through these difficult times, whilst ensuring our personal wellbeing and that of others doesn’t get adversely affected?

Below are a few observations, hints and tips that I hope may help you and your loved ones.

The first thing I noticed when reality began to set in, was an outpouring of different emotions and reactions from people via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn etc. These were reinforced by various people that I saw on the news.

It immediately became apparent that people were reacting true to their dominant behavioural preferences. I put together the image below, to summarise these reactions at a high-level. I also noticed that people were getting irritated with their behavioural opposites first and foremost, Yellow with Blue and Green with Red and vice versa.

For me, the key learning is that we need to be aware and appreciate, that there is no right or wrong way in which people are reacting and behaving during this current pandemic. They are likely to do so based on their behavioural preferences. Rather than being frustrated by these behaviours because they are not the same reactions you are having, we must understand, support and appreciate that, if they are behaviourally different to ourselves, their reaction will also be different.

So, whilst they react and behave differently to you, don’t see them as DIFFICULT, appreciate they are just DIFFERENT to you and rather than being FRUSTRATED by them, be FASCINATED by these differences.

I think we should all keep in our minds, this quote by Stephen Covey.

“First seek to understand and then to be understood.”

We have been absolutely bombarded with communication via email, social media, the news, family, friends and work. This can in itself be extreme stressful, as our brains, based on our behavioural preferences, will be trying to “filter out” the communication that is important to us.

Invariably, those who lead with:

Red Energy - want to know what needs to be done, what they need to do and when it is going to happen.

Yellow Energy - wants to know positive news, how people are keeping their spirits up and the creative ways the problem is being tackled.

Green Energy - wants to know how lives are being safe-guarded and how they can play their part in supporting others, whilst keeping themselves and others safe.

Blue Energy - wants to know about how to mitigate risks, what plans are in place and the timescales for overcoming the problem and the rules that need to be adhered to.

As there is so much communication at the moment, it’s as though thousands of people are all shouting at us and vying for our attention, all at the same time and it can be overwhelming.

When we find it too much for us, we often start to exhibit “Under Pressure” behavioural traits. The image below shows the “Positive Frame of Mind” and “Under Pressure” adjectives of the four, high-level behavioural preferences. The majority of people use a combination of two, so it may be that you will associate with a combination of adjectives on two of the cards, more than from the others.

The key learning from this is to firstly, be aware if you are exhibiting “Under Pressure” traits and secondly, if you are seeing these traits in others.

If you see them in yourself, write down the things that are impacting negatively on you in terms of communication and see if there are any ways that you can filter out the things that are causing you to be stressed.

If you are seeing these negative traits in family members that you may be self-isolating with, simply ask them if they are OK and if there is any support that you can offer them.

Finally, if things become too much, our behaviours will often flip to the least strong of our behavioural preferences and it will often come out in a childish way, as we are not used to using it.

As the majority of people, have their least behavioural preference as their opposite to their dominant;

Those who lead with Red Energy, may become over emotional and possibly break down and cry.

Yellows may withdraw, becoming extremely introverted and not wish to interact with others.

Greens may explode like volcanoes, using many expletives in doing so.

Blues may start to become increasingly agitated and more animated in their body language.

Be aware of the above, as it our brains way of providing us with a pressure release valve. Often, these more extreme changes, will happen in short bursts, before a person returns to a degree of normal behaviour however, be aware if someone is exhibiting these traits over a long period of time, as they may need a greater degree of support than you are able to offer.

I hope that the above provides you with a better understanding of how we and others may be behaving differently, during this extremely stressful time. For me, the key to helping ourselves and others is to show empathy and tolerance and keep talking about how we are feeling.

Finally, whether you lead with Green, Blue, Yellow or Red;

Keep Safe, Follow The Rules, Be Positive and Be Strong. Together We Will Succeed.

Nick Fewings, CEO, Ngagementworks