Coping with confinement – how understanding yourself can help
Written by : Robyn Santa Maria
Wherever you are in the world, there’s a strong chance you’re experiencing some form of lockdown or confinement.
We know that affects how you’re feeling and how you’re approaching work. Perhaps you crave routine so feel lost without it. When you’re accustomed to working in teams it’s likely you feel alone, which is difficult and even demotivating.
However, know this: human beings are not comfortable with change. We all like the comfort that comes from knowing, to a certain extent, what comes next. The uncertainty of not knowing is what makes us uncomfortable.
While you have very little to no control over how long the current situation will last, you can control how you react to the situation. How? By having a greater understanding of yourself.
That may sound obvious and perhaps even ‘easy’. However, have you really stopped to think about your own personality and how you respond to different situations? What makes you ‘tick’? How do you cope with change?
Understanding of self and how you can take back some control
Luxury Hospitality’s Head of Insight, Julia Rogers, and Insight Specialist Lynne Edwards work with industry professionals around the world to help them better understand themselves and others so they can build high-performing individuals, teams and organisations.
In this post, Julia and Lynne offer their advice for how professionals working in luxury hospitality, be it on board yachts or onshore, can best cope with the situation at hand.
What is your very first piece of advice for how to cope in the current situation?
Accept what is happening and be kind to yourself. Look at what you can do right now to make improvements for when we are out of this situation. This is a rare time we have to ‘get ready to be ready’!
Adopt a very clear understanding that you are in control of your thoughts, so it is vitally important you are aware of how you’re managing your thought processes during these challenging times.
Your experience of the current situation will be determined by how you choose to process your thoughts. You can’t control what is happening, but you can control how you deal with it on a day-to-day basis.
So, choose to focus on the positives, on doing productive and enjoyable things each day or simply allow yourself to do nothing much at all, if that feels good to you!
What are the advantages of better understanding yourself?
Understanding of self is hugely important. But what exactly does that mean?
It means knowing what makes you tick and why, and what the triggers to emotional instability, anger or frustration are. By understanding your natural inherent energy, you can accept how you are and look at ways to improve your behaviour, to better communicate with others and find teammates to assist in areas you find challenging.
When that understanding of how you function, feel, behave and communicate is extended from self to others, then tolerance, acceptance and trust naturally follow. In essence, when you understand yourself you can understand others.
How can that help in the current situation? How can having a greater insight into yourself and your team members help you better cope and create positivity?
To start, it’s OK to not be OK and everyone needs to feel comfortable in letting their teammates know that, so we can all look out for each other.
When you understand you are naturally more introverted or extroverted, you are more aware of what makes you happy and how you can improve the situation for yourself. When every member of a team understands each other’s strengths and challenges, you can reach out to others who are strong in areas where you may be challenged.
The more you know about yourself and are comfortable with others, the more you can be vulnerable. This enables you to connect far more effectively with others; connection and communication is even more important at this challenging time.
Acceptance is key. Once you understand how and why different people react in different ways to certain situations, it’s easier to allow others to be themselves rather than expecting everyone to react and behave in a similar way to yourself.
Author Steve Goodier said it best: “We don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note. Only notes that are different can harmonise. The same is true with people.”
Acceptance of self and others will create this harmony.
For anyone who doesn’t know their ‘personality profile’, why would you recommend finding out? How can it help them now and in the future?
Understanding how you function, feel, communicate and operate and why you react in certain ways, helps you accept, adjust and learn. This awareness assists with all levels of communication, helping you connect with people in a far more effective, empathetic way.
Having a clear understanding of your inherent strengths, as well as the strengths you have gained from your own life experience, creates a sense of identity and responsibility.
Clearly defining your values creates trust in yourself and others. Understanding clearly why there are tasks you dislike, and are therefore not very good at, but may be a joy to others will help with delegation within the team. This all leads to becoming part of a cohesive, sustainable team.
For example, if you have a high percentage of what we call ‘Blaze’ energy and a low percentage of ‘Steel’ energy, you are naturally more extroverted. If you have the opposite (low percentage of Blaze energy and high percentage of Steel energy), you are naturally more introverted. In practical situations, people with high Blaze energy are not naturally strong in systems and processes; however, people with high Steel energy are, so it’s more productive to allocate them such tasks. Equally, those with high Steel energy are not as people oriented, so tasks related to relationship and team building are better suited to individuals who have high Blaze energy.
Anyone with a high percentage of ‘Dynamo’ energy is creative and ideas focused. However, their ideas come so quickly they can sometimes struggle to get things finished; they need the support of others to get things done. In this case, they would work well with those who have a high percentage of ‘Tempo’ energy. People with high Tempo energy are great at fleshing out the details and at managing projects and timelines.
When combined, the different energy profiles can work together constructively, not just those of opposing energies. Any combination of energies has something useful to bring to the table. However, a balance of all profiles creates an optimally balanced team.
The best thing to know from all of this is that understanding your natural energies and the energies of others is the key to better communication.
What other advice do you have for individuals to empower them to cope with life in confinement?
Accept the way it is and don’t stress over things you cannot change. Find a rhythm for each day that works for you, finish things you’ve been meaning to finish and appreciate what you have now: time.
Do your best to avoid creating fearful thoughts about the future based on supposition or sensationalistic news. No one knows when this will end, so we need to get into a state of acceptance. To help, focus on the good stuff; for example, write daily gratitude lists.
Also, get clear on your purpose: how do you feel about it? Connect with people in whatever way suits you best within this confinement. After all, we are social beings and communication and connection is key.
Above all, stay in the moment and become aware of your own energy levels. Know when you need your own space, or when you need to connect virtually with others, and do what you need to make you feel good.
Discovering your personality profile
As Julia and Lynne have alluded to, insight is a process that gives you a deeper understanding of yourself; it’s about gaining inner clarity about how you feel, function and communicate. The starting point for gaining insight into your own self is to use personality profiling tools – at Luxury Hospitality, we use Talent Dynamics.
The eight different Talent Dynamics personality profiles each represent a mix of energy, thinking and action styles that help you understand yourself in terms of how you act and think. Best explained as a sports analogy, each profile provides you with a set of guidelines or rules to play the ‘game’ of life.
You can take the ONLINE TEST as part of your own personal development and when you want to evolve as part of a team.
Please know you are not alone. You are part of our global community of caring hospitality professionals and we are here to support you wherever you are in the world.
Stay safe and stay connected.
Head of Insight
Phone: +44 (0)778 842 8008