4 Ways to Reenergize

Feeling a little sluggish? You’re not alone. Amidst various claims that the productivity of remote workers is down, I think we can blame the mood of the nation over our collective work ethic. Lockdown sucks.

As you know, I keep my eyes out for great content to share with you. And while I typically write something completely original in this space, today I want to share highlights from a McKinsey session I attended where three partners presented the results of their research on how to put the spring in the step of our employees. There was no replay offered. I can’t even find these visuals on their site, so you get my bootleg version.

First, with nary a nod to the source, we have a re-make of the classic grief curve originally drawn by Kubler-Ross. But I like what they’ve done, demonstrating the critical role of leaders in helping people bounce by harnessing realistic optimism (blue line). The red denotes the dangers of saying, “Don’t worry, it will all work out fine.” A classic line in movies that no one buys in the real world. False hope is no hope.

Don’t miss the squiggle representing our transit through grief. There are many feeling the loss of human closeness which technology cannot replace. Regardless of your own immunity to that change, we respect that some feel it very deeply.

So, what to do? Well, there are these 4 ways…

1. Listen Deeply

This is a skill that many leaders lack. Listening without interrupting, without sharing your unbelievable success, without attempting to fix it. It’s not always easy to sit on our hands during a meeting, but it can be the best thing for employees, to feel truly heard without judgment.

Looking broader, successful organization crowdsource their own employees, setting up online jam sessions to brainstorm solutions and ideas to make the most out of our new reality.

Listening is a necessary pre-requisite to action…

2. Develop Adaptability

The ability to grow and adapt was identified as one of two top skills for navigating COVID successfully (number one was inspiring leadership).

Being adaptable begins with recognizing that I still have a lot to learn. That mindset prepares me to explore and learn. The tone set by leaders prepares me to create and contribute in new ways.

3. Focus on Care

Listening gets the ball rolling, but now we get practical, taking action to raise the well-being of employees. Organizations find ways to further promote self-care, connecting people with the support they need to emerge stronger. More than providing Employee Assistance Programs, it’s a wide variety of interventions available to rejuvenate and strengthen mental health.

4. Unleash Energy

Change is tiring. It takes an emotional toll. Therefore, people need an opportunity to recharge. Insert intentional breaks between meetings. Provide a moment to collect thoughts and shift gears.

And I’ll add my favorite…find ways to make people laugh, one of the most powerful recharge tactics we can use!

There’s some good stuff here. Thank you McKinsey for 30 minutes well spent!

Thoughtfully yours,


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Jeff Skipper
Jeff Skipper is an expert in accelerating change. Clients such as Shell, Goldman Sachs and The Salvation Army have engaged him to achieve dramatic results during strategic transformation by wrapping complex change in motivating mission. He has been quoted in Fast Company, Forbes and HP’s enterprise.nxt. Jeff holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and is a Certified Change Management Professional.