Retail Observer

October 2020

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 43 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM OCTOBER 2020 44 L ately, a lot of my conversations with clients have been about change, especially in the face of the extraordinary time we've spent in the COVID pandemic – nothing feels normal, and when it feels like it might be creating patterns of normalcy, something changes again. We are dealing with changes on so many levels, it's easy to see how change fatigue is more than just a buzzword – we feel it. Connecting with long-time clients whose industry is at the maelstrom of significant change, I find they are relying on their resiliency to adapt. Funding and financing are uncertain. Their clientele is shifting. Their employees are concerned about job security. The current issues of the day, political and social, are having both a practical and emotional impact on them. We've known one another for a long time. I've seen some of the organization's members develop, grow and rise in their authority and position in their work. Yet it seems that this question, "How do we manage ourselves in times of great change? " comes up repeatedly for many organizations, and every single leader I know. A quick look on or at your favorite bookseller will provide a plethora of options for "change management," "change leadership," or just "change." Thousands of authors have practical, useful tools, but as I consider the particular climate in which we are working and living and the pressures and trials of leading, I realize that perhaps none of these ideas is the most needed right now. No system, acronym or top-ten tips are going to give you what you really want. What you need right now is likely counterintuitive and might even feel impractical: radical self-care. Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you've let go of being busy. The complications of juggling family, self and work may be even more complex than they were when you went to the office or store or got on a plane. Many people will sacrifice things they see as non-essential as they worship at the church of busy-ness: sleep, nutrition, exercise, time with others, even your time with yourself. Even though we talk about "work-life balance" and we desire it – we crave it – it's a kind of myth: we don't balance anything because our days are forever unpredictable and changing themselves. What we need to be able to do is show up in our conversations and interactions with the presence and focus that these tumultuous times demand. If we are sleep-deprived, emotionally exhausted or detached from those we love, we have very little to draw upon to manage the stressors that consistent change brings. If this is not a current practice of yours, then it's likely bringing up two primary responses: the logistics of it; i.e., how can you possibly make time for self-care when you don't have time to deal with your outrageous to-do list? And the desire for it. Could I really go to bed earlier? Could I really schedule a massage or go for a walk on a summer evening? Could I really have an agenda- less hour? Nike already captured the best advice with regard to the above: Just Do It. But it's more than that . . . you often have to give yourself permission for radical self-care. And it's radical because it doesn't make sense. It's radical because no one else is doing it. It's radical because many of us have bought into the idea that we don't deserve it or that we are unworthy of it . . . and if that doesn't resonate with you, then I invite you to check your relationship with perfectionism – that's just worthiness in disguise. (Read Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection. Actually, read it twice – It's small!) Here are some suggestions to consider, but make your own list. Only you know your edges for radicalism when it comes to self-care! • Schedule a massage, acupuncture or other healthy treatment for your body. We forget that our bodies are holding us, carrying us and sustaining us, especially when we are busy. Many services such as these are back and available now. How might you partake? • Schedule a walk (or movement) in a place you love, like a park, garden, beach or street. Even if it's just 30 minutes, engage WHAT ABOUT PERSONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT? Libby Wagner Culture Coach

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