Morale in 2020: lighting up the tunnel

Margaret Moore's picture Submitted by Margaret Moore June 2, 2020 - 1:55pm
Morale in 2020: lighting up the tunnel
Morale in 2020

This sucks. We got through an acute crisis. Barely able to absorb the nearly 100,000 lost lives in the US already, we awaken to a chronic crisis of COVID-19 accompanied by a sudden economic depression. It feels like a tunnel with no light ahead.

Lovely summer days are upon us, yet we are saddened by the absence of summer camps, vacation adventures, family reunions, and community celebrations.

You can likely relate to Merrett Wedell-Wedellsborg's 5/22 HBR article: If you feel like you're regressing, you're not alone. Adrenaline is waning, tempers are flaring, and conviction is fading. We are tired of this - enough already.

As top leadership coach Carol Kauffman advises in her Institute of Coaching article on PTSD, post-traumatic growth requires endurance. It starts with a long slog through swamp and muck, in the direction of an unknown future.

Leading with amazing grace helped us through the acute phase. Now, along with grace, we need to do our best to "light the tunnel" in the absence of an end with light in sight. We need to get intentional around lifting morale in the long tunnel ahead for ourselves, our families and teams, and our organizations.

Morale as defined by Merriam-Webster is a group's sense of common purpose or spirit (esprit de corps).

It is the mental and emotional condition (enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to tasks at hand, especially in the face of hardship.

Inside out, it is a state of individual psychological well-being based on things like a sense of purpose and confidence in the future.

Consider the following statements as a way to identify where you might make investments to light up the tunnel. Investments can simply be conversations to identify things you can do to lift morale. This is a good use of "found time:" time not spent on commuting and plane trips, or shopping at the mall.

Choose your focus — yourself, your family, team or organization. Give yourself a score out of 10 for each of ten statements. The maximum total score is 100.

(If you need more autonomy given all of life's restrictions, create your own list of morale-boosting statements. Or collaborate with your family or team to create a shared list of top statements for a group rating.)

Score each statement out of 10 - 10 is awesome:

  1. We share a common purpose or spirit, an "esprit de corps"
  2. We uncover inspiration together.
  3. We identify things to be enthusiastic about.
  4. We build confidence together.
  5. We are loyal to each other.
  6. We genuinely value and recognize each other.
  7. We are collaborating well.
  8. We bring discipline to our teamwork.
  9. We have fun together.
  10. We support each other's well-being.

Here again are the statements, embellished with pictures, in slide share form:

 

It takes all of us on one team to light up this tunnel.

We've got this.

Let's do this.

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