Our Pandemic Stories. 555 Days of Agile Coaching from home.

Everything has changed… how I work, who I work with, where I work, what I work on and even why I work has changed since the beginning of 2020. Good thing I’ve learnt to adapt better too.

Today I sit in my home office, (once a guest bedroom) with a standing desk and big screen and ergonomic chair – still surrounded by post-it notes and sharpies, but my real whiteboard is my MIRO boards – they are my notebooks and memories of events, meetings and workshops we’ve created and led. Far more useful and detailed than before, as I use the snipping tool and Miro stickies to make my notes.

Today I met the Ekipa Consultancy team in our online daily check-ins where we connect and reflect and provide updates on blockers and make commitments to the work ahead.

We also listen hard for how people are feeling – we used to use MoodMeter app, but we are now better at knowing our team’s online faces now, and as we have built our online relationships, we feel safer to share what’s really happening for us today. 

The job I do is entirely different to perhaps many of the things I used to do.

As the travel agent in our household – I lost my job pretty quickly, and as the arranger of events with friends and family also became minimised, a gap emerged.

I learnt early on that much as I value hugely individuals and interactions over using the tools – that good tools are now very much king… now in my travel agent job… I get to press the buttons to teleport people into break out rooms! 

Virtual connection tools – Google, Zoom, MS-Teams, Webex are not all equal…. And to this day Zoom is the best of them for handling real time voice, seeing people, and being easy and intuitive to use for all.

Today one of my new roles is as a Creative Virtual Agile Game and Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator.

What I do, and how I do it has changed into something I never imagined.

How we go about doing things has all changed too. 

We must be much more intentional in our communication and guidance, because my body language that previously supported the non verbal communications now has limited utility. The playing field for regional teams such as ours has been levelled – we are all distributed and virtual.   

Planning in a different way – it is more important to ensure my own personal leadership – my mantra proven over and over is …failing to plan, is planning to fail… but only plan for short timeframes, so it’s easier to respond to change.

Change that used to come in 2020 as big waves of newness crashing into our lives is replaced now in Singapore by frequent small and medium sized changes mostly as we increase the number of people vaccinated – 2021 was the year that I thought would be a lot more free – then Delta turned up and pushed our resilience further.

Learning to adapt to the change with less emotional upheaval has been the most valuable thing I have learnt and continue to learn how to move through The Kubler Ross Change Curve (KRCC) as fast and effectively as I can.

Starting by recognising the things that triggered me and learning how to handle those things better… seeing moving trucks on the street… government announcements (usually further limiting our freedoms) – I now observe my state of denial faster and others around methe looking for evidence of the change NOT BEING TRUE – as well as subsequent avoidance, confusion, short and occasional elation, shock and fear have all been frequent feelings I’ve learnt to not get hooked up on.  

I am most grateful that one of my passions is that I love exploring – I’m the person that will be driving along a road and suddenly turn off to explore where that old sign takes me. The reminder I use to trigger me to move out of that low dip of depression in the KRCC is that if I get out and experiment and explore as soon as possible with the new changes…. That actually I am back in the game of living… 

So then what? – what will 2022 and the next 555 days of this pandemic lead me to explore?

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