Complete your Pandemic Performance Review

Mar 07, 2021

Art by: Anna Kövecses

Prepare yourself for a second year with fewer fails.



Correction. I love change that I choose. I’ve found this year has challenged me in ways I couldn’t imagine, and I have a pretty vivid imagination. As someone who facilitates change workshops and knows more change models than humanly useful, this year I’ve been at a loss more often than not.


Change is a tricky thing. Especially the kind that is imposed upon us. In February, 2020 I facilitated an activity that examines our relationship to change. I remember it fondly because it was one of the last in person programs I led.

  1. Depending on the perspective, change can be obvious or very subtle
  2. They get frustrated with being asked repeatedly to change, it’s hard
  3. They want to understand the purpose, what’s the point
  4. Teams start to take it less seriously and feel a lack of control or choice
  5. Eventually after multiple turns, they become disengaged or someone is wearing a shoe on their head


My ability to embrace change imposed by a global pandemic was seriously lacking. When I coach clients on performance issues, we examine the situation from a skill and will perspective. I’ve found this frame helpful to coach myself when I’m not doing my best work. Basically, I gave myself a pandemic performance review.



When the pandemic began, I put my energy into increasing my skill. I bought new equipment, signed up for courses and learned new technology. I failed to check in with my will. I think because I was afraid. I didn’t reflect on what I was letting go of, in order to fully embrace what I was creating. A death grip is the opposite of creative response. Examining my attitude of acceptance is now part of my check in, because it’s a mindset I want to strengthen. Also, the death grip is exhausting.




Do I want a second pandemic year? Hell, No. However, I’m coming to terms with my reality. This second year means I get to apply all that I learned from that first year. I’m no longer a novice. While there remains much uncertainty, I’m clear on what I’ve learned and what has changed (including me).

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