Looking back at AWE since March 2020, similar to many of you, we had to respond to the turbulence of our environment first with moving our team virtual for safety, then navigating the waters of financial solvency with business disruption, then the wake-up call to respond to social injustice. We had to navigate the uncertainty of losing clients due to their economic hardship, how to keep our business running by shifting our in-person events virtually and how to keep our team optimistic and engaged. We started reimagining novel approaches to expanding our reach virtually to different demographics, offering relevant new services to respond to the environment, seeking unusual strategic partnerships and attracting unexpected different clients. All the time we continuously charted new pathways in an ambiguous future of the workplace by paying attention to what is changing, listening deeply to our team, clients and community, asking ourselves questions that expanded possibilities and taking courageous risks without having all the answers.
We see TUNA as our new normal, ongoing and indefinitely. While the intensity and nature of what is turbulent, uncertain, novel and ambiguous in our workplace may shift, in order to be evolution ready, we must be able to not only survive in this environment, but also find ways to thrive in it. As I look back on the past few months, there are a few competencies that rise as essential to thriving in this environment:
Finding inner calm amidst the turbulence
If you think about turbulence like a hurricane, we can either operate being thrown around in the wind and debris or we can sit in the eye of the storm where it is still. When you operate from this place, you are better emotionally and mentally equipped to handle challenges and find solutions. Continuing to return to the eye of the storm is an intentional practice.
Imagining new possibilities
Unchartered pathways mean that the path forward has not been cleared for us, nor is the destination itself always clear. Yet we all want to move forwards towards our dreams, desires, passions, values and vision of what is possible. By reading the environment, sensing the shifts, being curious to innovation and open to new ideas, we can image new possibilities for ourselves that propel us forward towards a new path of our own creation.
Having courage to take a leap
Making decisions without having all the answers, experimenting with new ideas and potentially failing, admitting you need help and asking for it, all feels vulnerable and takes courage. The ability to be vulnerable, possibly fail, pick yourself up and continue going is an emotional muscle that can be strengthened with practice. The more you strengthen this muscle, the more resilient you become to adversity and unexpected twists.
Releasing beliefs that bind you
Change, whether it is providing new services, working in different ways, working with different people, learning new skills, moving to a new career, or even reimagining your life means that what worked for you in the past may not work for you in the future. To stay agile and moving forward with all the constant changes, takes an ongoing practice of release limiting beliefs that bind you and embracing affirming beliefs that propel you forward.
Tejal Tarro, AWE Co-Creator and CSO
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