One of the games I played as a kid was the police and thieve childhood game.
I would give a background to how the game is played. Kids are split into two groups. The police, and the thieves. while the police go in search of the thieves and later on a swap with thieves to do the reverse roles as both groups take turns to search for the other. In one of those periods something interesting happened, one of us was never found and we all forgot about her and moved on as kids until later on, we found her crying where she was hidden.
When asked why she did not come out from where she was hiding she insisted she wanted to be found and had to be found by us and until she was found the game had not ended
I think that scene made sense with me and stuck for a long time. My take away was simple. Everyone who goes into hiding wishes and craves to be found even if they don’t tell you or look like it.
After a while, the absence of not being found takes a toll on even the strongest of humans
The lockdown gave most teams in the workplace an opportunity to go into hiding in the name of isolation and when we had the opportunity to meet our team was, basically via zoom App calls and deliverables were always paramount and we couldn’t wait to be done with it.
The workplace prior to now was a community of sorts and filled a vacuum for most of us. With zoom meetings taking over that role and deliverables very easily spelt out the change is clear. The only time we meet team members this time is online and work demanded we skip the small talks and go straight to conversation bordered on deliverables and Return on investment.
Interestingly for our organizations, we skipped small talks because we needed to be very professional but the bond for camaraderie was still there clearly these little things held us together at work. The bond was the accelerator to most deliverable teams and for teams that had a great human culture.
One of the reoccurring conversations I observed during team building sessions i had lately was how we missed those little connections
I live in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, Nigeria and with traffic in the mornings and late in the evening, you don’t wish to experience any of it but surprisingly something happened during ice breaker sessions on what people missed more from work.
One of the reoccurring cited was missing the traffic rush, which we all dread, and distractions from team members who we assume were disturbing our productivity at work
How it turned out the things we miss the much were the things we less thought about the more the indication it was a clear indication that we are communal ln nature as humans especially in Africa where workplaces are mini families and communities.
If you are a peoples manager this should be an indicator of how to treat team members who yearn more for connection and the absence of which was normally filled with work physical connections.
The people gap the lockdown created showed the need for connection as humans on all levels.
To the older generation, to be robotic and not show emotion is the norm of the day, from customer service team members who are more eager to take your money than to solve your problem to people who don’t think you should show emotional intelligence the list is endless.. but from experience working with millennials and generation Z who are completely different and have rebelled the lack of empathy by team members who lead as Line managers or Human Resources leads.
I believe us all as humans crave for this more deserve more and should get it.
Connection, Communication and leading with the heart might be soft skills easily ignored but times like these have showed people are first led by the heart then the head.
like a professional colleague recommended, we create more nonwork deliverable times with team members. listen to what is not said more than what is said and make sure you give your team reasons to always choose to make an impact with your organization even when this season is over.
Go back to the organizations Mission and do more to help everyone stick to stick with it
People would forget everything, but would never forget how you treat them. You do not need to be a “yes man” or become strict because you do not want to feel week or sound hard… Simply connect with the heart boldly, assertively, and take care of your community.
Like the lady in the police and thieve story needed to be found after hiding, I believe line managers, HR heads, CEOs must take it upon them to go find their team members where they are and meet them halfway even when the game ends.
Like a compass, Charles’s deep insight about people helps direct your path. Charles Umeh is the Co-founder of BreakingThe Coconut Inc & Author of the Breaking the Coconut (Book), Generations in the workplace; Understanding, Collaborating, and Connecting with GenZ ( download book free Generations in The Workplace)
TV Show Host of the Show Breaking the Coconut (ttp://bit.ly/2Lks0gv)
His TED Talk “Think like a change-makers” is a catalyst and conversation starter for the next generation of changemakers in Africa.(
Charles does wear many hats. A management consultant per excellence, Charles helps C-level Executives/Leaders of Various Organizations harness the hidden potentials of millennials and generations Z
Charles’ brainchild, “the Coconut work lab” has helped over 1000 professionals across all walks, connect & discover how to break their coconut and release their hidden potentials since 2018 through its monthly workshops across, the Country.
Charles is also a member of the Project Management Institute,(PMI) the USA. Currently lives in Lagos Nigeria. You can visit www.breakingthecoconut.com for his works ( Books, Courses) or booking for business conversations.
To every young person out there hungry for positive change but too scared or unsure of how to begin, “Breaking the Coconut” will provide the fuel you need to begin the journey to make an impact and leave an indelible mark in your society. Read this book, and be inspired to join these dynamic individuals to defy the odds and recreate the Africa that we long to see, the Africa of our dreams” get it https://flutterwave.com/pay/o7j9touqf29y
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