A recent article in Forbes magazine has highlighted some issues of teams working in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some say “many extroverts are screaming that they cannot take anymore after one week of working from home in isolation”. That got me thinking? How to manage your extroverted team members during self isolation!
“Introverts, please put down your book and check on your extrovert friends, they are not okay” Unknown
Time to Pivot!
To point out, society as we have known it has changed and as a result we have been called to pivot. To change direction and re-focus and re-invent so that we can re-energise. We are all in this together. Moving forward one day at a time.
Many many years ago when I completed my registered nurse post graduate studies in Psychiatry (now known as Mental Health). I recall some of the patients I worked with. I thought it may be useful to share my observations at this time.
All of these people had been institutionalised to keep them safe and help them heal. They were struggling to cope. Suffering a combination of many mental illnesses including anxiety and depression. By the same token we did not consider if they were extroverts or introverts.
In fact, looking under the surface of these people. I realised that they were all desperately trying to cope in their own way. In effect, trying to maintain some control in their life.
The harder they tried to cope the more confused they appeared. Leading to feelings of frustration, anger, fear and loss of control. Playing out in a variety of behavioural ways. In short, they were scared! Obviously unclear about the future!
Emotions affect us all!
It got me thinking how many of us are feeling like that right now in the mist of the fall out of COVID-19? Many feeling like they are struggling to take control of a normal life. Anxiety levels are escalating! Stress and fear are real leading to spiralling out of control.
Losing jobs, livelihood, income. work and family contact is difficult. Conversely our first line workers, emergency responders, health care workers and service industries are exhausted. Not to mention they are potentially being exposed to COVID-19, run the risk of contracting the virus and passing on to their families. Similarly these emotions are not too dis-similar to my patients from my student days.
I reckon that there are many similarities for us all at the moment and being an extrovert just highlights some challenges more. Additionally, it is so important to explore how to manage your extroverted team members during self isolation!
So what can we do to support our extrovert friends and colleagues during this period of working from home in self isolation? Extroverts generally become energised being around others, love to talk, solve problems through discussion and love group work. Usually they start to feel isolated if they spend too much time alone.
So here are some tips that may help:
- Develop a morning routine and stick to it
- Exercise in the morning is useful to get energised
- Always dress for work, it sets your frame of mind for the day
- Take regular breaks, do some stretching or running on the spot for 5 mins – get the energy moving
- Schedule regular networking electronic conferencing sessions throughout the day
- Update your calendar to have regular group meetings, make them short, sharp and succinct
- Develop habits – schedule video calls with friends regularly
Stay safe in these unusual times and check out my coaching programs that may be helpful?