Before COVID-19, in a world where previously, we could not separate easily, privilege from entitlement, where the norm – was often turned into the ‘exception’ and where we may have been surprised and taken by politeness and occasional generosity, we are now witnessing more, the emergence of one fundamental quality, one, without which our lives become deprived of essential meaning. Kindness.
I am sure we all share the same challenge of feeling in a way ‘out of control’ and let’s face it, that can be a bit scary and an isolating place for many.
We are all trying hard to plan and strategise, to predict our personal and collective futures, and in ‘normal times’, we did this by analysing as much data as possible. Realising that I don’t personally have ‘data’ for this new reality, made me focus even more on the present and the different kind of experiences – in seeking the meaning and value in human interaction, as opposed to looking for ‘data’ – to feel ‘in control’.
And, I have learned – that sometimes, it is good and even healthy, to not be in control!
Unification by kindness
With all that is occurring because of COVID-19, including the economic fallout, working remotely and in isolation – the kindness and care from our candidate community and client base has been extremely heart-warming.
But where I have been truly overwhelmed and surprised, is the almost unconditional care and heightened awareness from our suppliers. It has felt as if they were treating our business as their own. The word ‘I’ has been replaced by ‘we’, and it has given me a new and different sense of unity, that deep level consideration that not only unleashes a level of burden but provides inspiration and hope. It felt as if people were aspiring to step out of the ordinary, to do something meaningful.
I would particularly and gratefully like to mention our IT supplier – Enerds, our Accountants – ERY Melrose, CBA and SEEK amongst others.
The positive side effect of COVID-19
The rate of infection for COVID-19 around the world is deeply concerning and devastating; but I believe the rate of human kindness is increasing, showing us that we can put faith in the collective consciousness and our ability to choose how we respond to this pandemic, and to those in need.
When all this is over, there will be only a few ways in which to ‘measure’ our lives during this time, which as a business owner, brings me to what I find most empowering and even exciting about this time. We are all, as businesses and individuals called to showcase our true values, our mettle and character – who we are and who we can be to our customers, partners and society – not to ‘try to be’, but simply just ‘be’.
This applies to everyone, from business owners to hiring managers, café owners, candidates, all of you on LinkedIn and other social media influencers.
Why are values important to a business?
For years, I have been asked how as a recruitment agency we are different. My answer is always the same, as much as we ride with currents of life and grow and change with it, the underlining values and motivations are always the same – all of us at EST10, try each and every morning to, again and again, fall in love with what we do, and that is all.
When times are tough and challenging, that is when an authentic, values-based business shines. The values, as well as pleasure, comes from the intrinsic reward of knowing you did not just a good job, but also in creating a meaningful impact by putting your customer’s interest above your own. Some small sacrifice, some better understanding of other people’s motivations and a nonjudgmental approach, will get us far on this journey.
If you or your business has this genuine philosophy/attitude, it could be your ‘competitive advantage’ at this challenging time. Harness it!
Maybe a little less control and a change can be good!
As a final thought, as we all continue to plan and strategise for this time, which we could not have envisioned, we are also given the rare opportunity to let go of things that may have not worked well for us previously.
There is a trap that we all need to be aware of more than ever, and that is the need to want things to be precisely the same – as they were before the crisis. But we need to let go of the rigidity that can hinder our development and allocate our time and resources to recognising what truly makes us happy as human beings.
We are privileged if we get to do something special for someone else and by doing so, we are the fortunate ones! Being kind in giving as well as in receiving, is a stronger currency now and for the future.
Not a hippy, but maybe deep down inside somewhere…