Yesterday evening I had a really sore, tight shoulder. My lovely husband gave me a really good shoulder massage and off I went to sleep. In the morning, when I woke, he asked me how I was. My answer was ambiguous to say the least: “I’m good, my shoulder is a bit niggly, you know, where you massaged it.” Now, I meant it was uncomfortable but better because of the care he had given me last night; he thought he had made it worse. Same sentence, different views. Fortunately, we ended up with the giggles about this, but it got me thinking about perspectives.
I remember someone asking me when I was a child – “How come you always see all sides of an argument?” At the time I didn’t understand what they meant, and it is fair to say I often don’t see all sides, but I am fascinated by how two people can look at one thing from different angles and draw utterly different conclusions. In the past couple of years, I have been practising seeing things from different perspectives; changing my approach, ‘changing boxes’ and seeing how this can impact not just my thinking, but also the outcomes of ideas, projects, discussions, meetings and more.
Although I don’t really want to go back to the theme of water and boats, some time ago, this cartoon landed on my feed, and really resonated. Writing this reminded me of how simple and powerful the message is.
The relevance of this now is the parallels between those of us busy at work, and those furloughed or self-employed and not working. Over the next few weeks and months, we are likely to steadily start to see businesses open back up and those of us with teams will now be thinking about how to integrate and support everyone. We have people working very hard currently, and in many cases taking on other peoples’ workloads, learning new skills and processes, and constantly juggling tasks to maintain our service levels. On the other hand, our AestheticSource family who are not working are actually begging to come back to work, to be needed, to feel ‘job satisfaction’, to be part of a team.
Maintaining team cohesion has been one of my main intentions in the last few days. Here at AestheticSource, we started having virtual social meetings the first week of lockdown and turned to our WhatsApp group to share fun stuff and to keep our family-team spirit alive and well. I didn’t think through what impact it might have, I just instinctively felt it was right to create a communication habit. Our virtual meetings have been great, among others we’ve had a Beer & Pizza ‘Show and Tell’ session, a Chocolate and Confessions meeting, and even a catch up over Pinot and Pot Noodle. Each time we get together we share ideas, feedback, stresses, worries and talk them through openly, then in turn, we share stories and anecdotes on a theme - the lighter side of things (and ‘no’ – I am not sharing any of the tales here…. Haha!). Our plan this week is to have a team quiz, everyone at AestheticSource, no questions on skincare…. Always, the aim is to make sure we stay in touch, see a little of each other’s perspectives, and understand the unique experiences we are all having.
We do not yet know how the aesthetic and beauty markets will open back up, when consultation and treatment bookings will start to fill back up, how our AestheticSource team will come back to the office, when our sales and training teams will get ‘out and about’, how the extended furlough scheme and self-employed support may work; so we cannot set any timelines – this uncertainty and loss of control is hard for everyone. There have been moments this week when I have disappeared down the rabbit hole of reading every available piece of advice – which, believe me, means a lot of reading and thinking when I have to see each article, document, policy from so many different angles. So much conflicting advice, so many parameters, but, to pull my analogies together - the boat will come to the island, then the sailor and the islander can work out a way forward together. In looking at things from different angles, we can all find new ideas, new ways of coping and in fact, thrive through working together.