Damn you, COVID! I hate you more and more every day. Not only do you turn everything upside down, but you challenge me mentally and even physically.
Even when I go to bed early, exercise, and eat well, I’m still CONSTANTLY tired. I can’t even get up in time to run a bit in the morning… And yet before all of this, I would get up sometimes as early as 5 in the morning to go. I don’t understand, or I didn’t understand! But I think I figured it out.
Navigate the change In another life - my life as a federal civil servant – I delivered training sessions entitled “Navigate the change” for the Canada School of Public Service. This was in 2011 and 2012. During this period, the public service was in the process of “workforce reorganization” - a softer way of saying there were job cuts. If I remember correctly, there would be about 20,000 jobs eliminated. I was part of that cohort and that’s how I became an entrepreneur – but that’s another story.
“Navigate the change” explained the stages that we experience emotionally, mentally, and physically when we go through a period of change in our lives.
This image is from e-marketing.fr
The shock: When they announced the confinement. A slap in the face!
The calling into question, or resistance: You know what we call “bargaining”? That is when we do whatever we can to find a way to bypass the rules that the government asked us to respect.
Re-mobilization or exploration: We’re talking about acceptance and finding a sense of meaning. We’re here when we start finding new ways to function in this new state.
Engagement: We have reached the step when the change is our new norm.
My little analysis of the model If you look at the curve in the image above, you will see that during the phase of questioning, the line drops. This descent represents our energy, our productivity, and our mood. Throughout the phase of questioning, everything goes down or becomes less rosy.
Similarly, when organizations implement changes, managers and supervisors are told to keep an eye on their employees and to check on those who stay in that low part of the curve for too long. These people are often at risk of developing symptoms of depression.
But back to our COVID situation. To move from the questioning phase to the re-mobilization phase, humans need a certain movement in the change, that is to say, an evolution. In the workplace example, an individual will advance to the re-mobilization phase when they find a new job, new tasks, or new projects.
I’m tired because I’m still in the questioning phase. And to move into re-mobilization mode, I need to see an evolution of the situation.
What kind of evolution? Our society is governed by time – calenders, agendas, watches. Our life evolves according to time markers. Look at your weeks or your months. At work or at home, it’s our small way of seeing evolution.
During the COVID situation, this development has been put on hold. We don’t have a timetable of when or how things will change. This challenges what we learned a long time ago.
The curve of change is not a one-way street. We can take two steps forward and one or three steps back. A bit like that famous dance presented by David Alston and Marcel LeBrun in that article on Huddle, last April 15th.
We can feel as if we are going up and back down at any time because our efforts to reach acceptance have not produced the desired results (not having been selected for a position after an interview, for example.)
Climbing that hill After much scrutinizing, I have come to the conclusion that I will undoubtedly start my ascent towards re-mobilization when the authorities have given us an indication of the plan of “recovery” or “progressive deconfinement”.
It’s hard for us, as citizens, to be able to imagine how the next step will unfold. This explains why so many people shared the Alston and LeBrun article. They gave us a starting point to give us a mental picture of the next step.
The government of New Brunswick is in preparation for the presentation of the next phase, according to the daily press briefings. It must be a colossal job to arrive at this plan and communicate it in such a way that people continue to respect the rules. To all the civil servants who are working hard on this right now, hats off to you! Like everyone else, I’m really looking forward to knowing what will be in this plan. To better understand but also, and perhaps above all, to give me the momentum (or the kick - it depends!) that I need to get up the slope. Maybe then I’ll be able to run earlier!