How has your life purpose changed since COVID-19?
Recently I sat down with some of our employees here at Olivier Mythodrama to chat about the impact the pandemic has had on them from a psychological and practical point of view and how their motivations and decision making has potentially shifted following the experience.
This week I speak to Greg, our Director of Global Client Relations, to see what impact it had both on him personally and as a wider team.
Greg is usually found travelling around the globe for weeks at a time, building relationships, meeting our clients/potential new clients and attending our programmes.
What was your situation during the pandemic?
Greg heads up a team of 10 in our London office and a week before the official UK lockdown, he took the decision for everyone to shift to remote working to trial the systems, ways of working and general safety of staff.
“We are a small team here at Olivier Mythodrama but we come with high energy! With this change there was some apprehension around how this could be replicated in a remote environment and with the fear of the unknown circumstances going on in the world.”
Recognising this challenge, the team collectively decided to initiate a check in every morning for an hour alongside weekly social events via Zoom, to help everyone stay connected and give a sense of normality within the chaos.
On a personal note, Greg reflects on how during the transition, his working day expanded with telephone calls, Zoom calls and the temptation to reply to emails late into the evening.
“I didn’t want people to feel that they needed to overcompensate because they were at home. I had to check myself and how I was working and also consciously make the team take a breath and step away at the weekend and evenings.”
Practical changes to working life as we knew it
Oliviier Mythodrama’s core offering for over 20 years has been impactful, face-to-face global training. When COVID-19 hit, Greg and Richard, our Founder and Artistic Director had to completely restrategise and pivot the way we deliver business.
Luckily we already had in development, our online programmes which was being designed as a way of reducing our carbon footprint.
Never before had we experienced something on such a global scale and the positive of this is the togetherness that many of us felt. Our clients are extremely important to us and during this time we felt it really key to offer support.
“My relationship with clients really changed; conversations took a more personal turn. Everyone was feeling it and it was important that I adapted a supportive role. I let them know we were here for guidance, free coaching, somewhere they could turn to speak their truth - anything that we could do to help them get through this difficult time and offload if they needed.”
Reflecting back on purpose prior to the global pandemic
Greg has always had a strong sense of purpose, which is preparing better leaders. His main driver is to allow people to have access to the tools and skills to be a better person for themselves personally and professionally. He really wants to help people to get a better understanding of their own life purpose and be a part of their growth and development.
When we explored how his purpose and motivations may have changed following the pandemic, Greg reflected on how his purpose and drive remains the same, but his mindset and approach had some changes that would not otherwise have happened.
“I have been more reflective and deeper within myself. I went through challenging times personally during this time and I have entered a transformative phase. I needed to take some time for myself, it can be easy to keep running when things happen in life, but this situation forced me to slow down and change the way I approach my purpose.”
Greg’s experience links to some of the learnings in our new online Henry V programme, where we invite participants to take time to reflect on their journey (ACT 5) of a project, identify learnings, failings and successes in order to nurture themselves, their teams, their organisation.
Has the experience changed the way you lead your team?
With the slowdown in pace and the complete cancellation of travel plans, Greg was more available to his team. He recognised that everyone is an individual with their own personal circumstances who would need support in different ways.
We explored the idea of putting on the right mask for the right scenario as a leader. In times of chaos, it is important that a leader demonstrates strength and confidence but also authentic vulnerability at the right time.
“It is knowing the right time to be open and sharing what is happening for you. I did offload and share what was happening for me emotionally.
The support mechanism is important, and the humanistic element needs to be there at the right time.”
COVID-19 has had a dramatic affect globally but looking at Greg as an example, we can take away some positives from the experience with self-reflection and transformation into a nurturing space for yourself and others.
Our programmes are designed to help you explore a more meaningful and practical path. As we come out of the pandemic it is important to explore how we can move forward and utilise our new mindset and purpose.
Find out more about how our programmes can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life.