Article by Olivia Kyriakidou*

Until very recently, our absolute habit, but also the “must”, was to leave our personal life out of work and vice versa. We went to work wearing work uniforms and stripped of any staff that completed our human condition. In other words, our business suit stripped us of our emotions, our family responsibilities, the difficulties of caring for elderly parents at home, our diversity that makes us authentic, our anxieties and fears, its joys and beauties. our lives.

We had to leave all this in the courtyard of the building where every morning we knocked on our real or virtual card. On the contrary, it “armed” us with the characteristics of integrity, seriousness, reliability, objectivity, characteristics that were considered not to go hand in hand or “spoil” when they are involved in the expression of emotions. Our professional suit called us to comply with the company’s culture and to leave our human nature at home.

So, until now, we did not go to work in our entirety, wearing our authentic selves.

What has changed now with the spread of the pandemic? Our house appeared. Children appeared to be boycotting teleconferences. People appeared in sweatshirts and were reluctant to take part in teleconferences. People appeared to be worried about their health and the health of their own. It showed how vulnerable human nature is and how much more normal everything is when this human nature is expressed in a complete way, just as it is complete. Nobody cares when the kids are booing at the teleconferencing or when the participants are dumbfounded or when you do the teleconferencing from the kitchen of your home, because this is the only room left open when everyone else, children and partners, are working from home! Things unthinkable two months ago!

Working people are not “human resources”, nor “human resources”, nor “talents in organizations”. They are HUMANS with emotional life, family life and diversity. The decision we have to make ranges between two options: either start caring for people’s feelings in the workplace or engage in ineffective behavior.

So one thing I wish for. This new regularity to stay forever and graft business culture. This new normality that allows us to bring our whole self, our authentic self, to the workplace, that allows us to have and express our feelings, that allows us to get sick and talk about it. This is the human experience and this is the bet for every company today and for the future. To take care of the management of human experience. As this will now separate the best environments to work from the rest that will attract even the best employees.

What are the messages for leadership? What is and what will be effective leadership? The one who listens the most, listens more effectively, has empathy and will be present understanding the other’s feelings and approach. The one who will consciously decide what are the values ​​and priorities that she wants to guide the way she organizes her organizational life. The way in which leadership will manage human experience in these difficult times will play a key role in the future of companies.

New normalcy requires substantial human relationships, empathy, hard work that leads to feelings of pride, but also empowerment so that we can return to a better normalcy after a strong dose of stress and uncertainty.

*Olivia Kyriakidou is PhD in organizational psychology and founder of the company ImasterPA, which provides consulting and educational services in the field of Human Resource Management.

Source : – published on April 30th,2020