The New Normal: How to get there

Hello everyone, Ryan Lisk here with my third and final (for now) COVID-19 “How To” article, “How To Get To The New Normal”. Here’s a quick hint: You are only getting to the new normal once you stop using the term, “The New Normal.” I know, right!!

The new normal is nothing more than a behavioral shift. As an executive coach for Lee Hecht Harrison, I use this Behavioral Shift Model as a simple 1-pager to help illustrate how we make a behavioral shift.

There are five stages to the behavioral shift:

Stage #1: Awareness – Awareness occurs from feedback on what we’ve currently been doing. Example: COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic and everyone in the U.S. will need to take precautionary measures to flatten the curve.

Stage #2: Acceptance – Acceptance is reached when you agree action needs to be taken on the feedback you have received. There are six levels to acceptance ranging from a level 0 to a level 5 (If you email me, I will send you the 1-pager with the six levels on the acceptance scale: The higher you are on this scale, the closer you are to being ready to make a change. Essentially, if you don’t accept things need to change, you’re not going to change. Here’s an example of a level 2 acceptance “Defensive with some openness”: March 1 reaction: “This sounds like media-hype to me, but I’m going to wait and see.”

Stage #3: Skill Development: Skill development is acquired through experience, training, and/or education. Example: Has anyone received any “How to work from home” emails or webinars? Reading Lisk Associates’ last three blogs on “Change” “Re-Focusing” and “The New Normal” would fall under the category of skill development.

Stage #4: Behavioral Shift: Behavioral shift happens when you create a new approach or way of thinking about a situation to break patterns that no longer serve you. Example for Lisk Associates: For 12 years I have hosted live RealTime Coaching workshops and for the first time ever I am going to host a virtual RealTime Coaching workshop. This is a behavioral shift.

Stage #5: Mastery: Mastery occurs when the new behavior feels “natural”. It could also be described as “unconscious competence”. You no longer have to think about how you do the task, or how you lead a meeting, or make a sale, or manage projects, it is now natural and your new normal.

All of us have received awareness on COVID-19. Where you are from there is individual to you. Some folks are still in stage 2 and haven’t accepted they need to do something different yet. They may be feeling dis-oriented, skeptical, unsure, and that’s OK. Many are feeling un-focused and that’s where zeroing in on what our job needs for success is crucial. And, some of you are in stages 3 and 4 making that behavioral shift to meet the wants and results of your job. The shift is so new, that stage 5 is most likely elusive to most at this point in time regarding COVID-19. It may be June or July before ZOOM meetings and working from home are the norm for you. And remember, just when it becomes the new normal for you, things are going to change again. Here is the link to the model: LHH Behavioral Shift Model.

Thank you all for the kind words and comments on my three articles as I hope you have found them simple, practical, and valuable. Let me know how I could help you, your team, or your organization. Thanks.

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