Over this last week we have seen business owners getting ready to come out of lockdown. Once again, the Facebook groups and online forums will be buzzing with ideas and chat about how we embark on the next chapter of the pandemic.

Most people agree that as well as the challenges, the pandemic has largely proven that there are new ways of operating that are beneficial to the customers, the team and the business. Understanding what to keep and how to keep it will be crucial in helping make the right decisions going forward.

How to sort the wheat from the chaff?

Before Covid-19, many practice owners would not have even considered the idea of staff working from home, keeping the door locked, carrying out an aftercare over zoom or triaging patients before their arrival. Now, however, some are thinking of continuing with all or some of these changes as they have seen the benefits.

  • So how do you make the right calls for your business?
  • Who can you turn to help make the decision?
  • What is the impact of getting a decision right?
  • What is the impact of getting a decision wrong?

Playing the what if games

In situations like this using your teams and peers to help is invaluable and there are two fun games that you can play to help. This is one I use regularly in coaching sessions to help the client work through the pros and cons of taking action versus the pros and cons of not taking action.

The four box model below represents the four questions I ask.

You will be forgiven for needing to read this a few times as at first glance the questions are the same but in reverse. That is in fact the point as the subtle differences in the questions will have a slightly different slant depending on what direction you come from. In any decision you are making, there will always be, no matter how small, a natural bias (either positive or negative) toward the decision. By forcing yourself to think about all four questions you remove some of this bias.

Listen to the team

The people you lead will have their own views on the decisions you face and so putting this up on the wall and encouraging the team to place post-it notes into the boxes with their thoughts. Even leaving it there in the staff room for a few days can make a difference as different staff members will prefer to think about things before voicing their thoughts.

Use your peers

For the regulars, you know how I bang on about the value of peer-to-peer mentoring. This is a great tool to use in groups, where a small team tackles one box each and comes up with as many ideas as possible.

Be the best you can be

Now, as we come out of lockdown, do your utmost to be the best version of yourself you possibly can. Stay true to your values and purpose, look for the opportunities from lockdown and again before changing something back again. Play the ‘what if’ game because you never know what might be right in front of you…

Until next month – stay safe.