• Karla Robertson

Business Travel Paused?: Don't Pause your Training and Development


Ok, so let's face it, there's a lot of uncertainty slamming us these days...like the upcoming election and jittery economy weren't enough, now add the novel COVID-19. Thing is, we don't control what happens; we do control how we think about and respond to what happens. How we think will become what we do.


Uncertainty, one of the 5 dimensions across which we experience Toward or Away responses in our brain is a very powerful one. Uncertainty can trigger an Away response which will make us roll down the shades, constrict, activate hyper-vigilance and sometimes, isolate. Some people power down into a scarcity mindset and hunker down into the foxhole hoping the bullets that are flying whiz over their heads. If you're reading the news, you do hear of leaders suspending travel, conferences being cancelled and other steps being taken to slow down the spread of this virus and the threat to businesses. There is a tough road ahead and losses will be felt…and what is also certain is we will get through it. So, what do we do to make the best of it? How do we rise above what we don’t control and identify, create and implement strategies around what we do control?


At times like these it is necessary to create an alchemy of appropriate cautious responses while blending in resilient strategies to keep key aspects of your business going and growing. One of those aspects is your people’s development and morale.


Example: Let’s say you wanted to do something to acknowledge your team with a great experience off-site so they could learn, grow and also have some fun and relax time away from the office without distractions. Well, instead of going to a hotel, what if you could transform one of your internal spaces at your location into an oasis, free from disruptions.


Possibilities:

1. Do you have someone on your team who is dying to release their inner HGTV interior decorator? Have them transform the meeting room into something that will transport people "away" from the office landscape.

2. Place a decorative basket at the door where everyone will place their cell phones (in off position).

3. Have them kick off their shoes.

4. Bring in great healthy food. Is there a scent that can be infused into the room? (Careful of any allergies!)

5. You could choose to put more of those dollars you save by having it at your office into the facilitation or save it for another round later in year as a follow up with the team.

6. Treat each member of your team to some 1-1 coaching


Other questions:

· Can training or guest speaker present on a webinar? Could it be a series without compromising the integrity of the experience? (sometimes, it is necessary to be in person if there is interactive and kinesthetic aspects to the learning.)

· Can the 1-1 coaching be done over the phone or by video chat? (I do this all the time)


No matter what you do, I imagine it will cost less than hotel stays, airfares, meeting room and rentals and up-charges on meals. Bonus: if everyone is local, they get to go home and be with their families at night…usually that’s a plus! : )


Lots of ideas. This is the gift of being an agile-minded leader and team. Your mind is used to the pivot: One door closes, a window of opportunity opens. Your choice. Your current circumstances don’t dictate your outcome; The internal narrative and meaning you create about your current circumstances along with your choices for action will determine your outcome.

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