Preparing for Re-entry into the Physical Workplace: Lessons from NASA

Astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz works with a grapple fixture during extravehicular activity to perform work on the International Space Station

Astronaut crews living and working in space experience as a matter of course what many of us experienced unexpectedly during the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. Consider these similarities:

  • They are physically isolated for a long period of time from family, friends, and the majority of their work colleagues.
  • Their daily in-person interactions are limited to the few people they live with and their other interactions are intermediated through digital technology.
  • Their home also serves as their workplace.
  • They are surrounded by a dangerous environment that poses a threat to their physical health. (For them, the dangers include a lack of oxygen in outer space; for us, the danger has been the risk of contracting COVID-19.)

Hope Employees Will Return to the Office? Start Here.

Coworkers laughing together in office

As the world opens up again following COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, employers that were previously accustomed to a steady hum of activity in the cubicles and corridors must decide if they are going to bring people back into the office full-time, continue to allow them to work remotely, or come up with a hybrid arrangement that provides for a mix of in-office and remote work. A positive way to view this decision is that it provides a fresh start, an opportunity to strengthen the relational subcultures throughout your organization. 

GovExec Daily Podcast Appearance: How to Connect While Working Remote

Laptop screen showing remote team members on a video call

One of the biggest challenges leaders face in leading remote teams is finding ways to keep members connected.

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the GovExec Daily podcast to talk about this issue and share a simple tactic for facilitating employee conversations: bringing back “show and tell.” Listen to the podcast to learn more about this tactic and how to implement it with your own team.

Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

Finding Brave Podcast Appearance

Kathy Caprino Podcast Banner

Recently, I had the privilege of being a guest on the Finding Brave podcast hosted by Kathy Caprino. A therapist, career coach, and author, Kathy is on a mission to help listeners – particularly professional women – access the courage they need to honor their true passions, talents, and values in life and work. 

Connect Your Remote Team Through Personal Knowledge

Man talking to his remote team members on a video call

Remember doing “Show and Tell” or presenting to your classmates as the “Student of the Week” when you were in elementary school? As it turns out, our teachers were on to something. Bringing back an updated version of this practice would be more than merely an entertaining way to enliven a meeting at work. It may be just what teams need in year two of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Two Great Conference Opportunities in February

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I’m happy to share that I will be giving keynote speeches at two exciting virtual conferences this February. I hope you will consider joining me.

Campus Community Conference: Better Together 2021

If you work in the field of higher education, then this event is for you. Campus Community’s inaugural conference will take place on Thursday, February 25. I will be sharing specific examples and strategies for connection across higher education. Learn more about the event and register.

Knowledge Resources Conference: Organisational Development Conference 2021

An international event hosted by Knowledge Resources, the Organisational Development Conference 2021 will bring together speakers from around the world. The main conference sessions will take place February 24-25 and are designed for professionals in the human resources and development fields. I will be sharing how connection gives organizations a competitive advantage.

My readers can receive a 20% discount off the registration fee by sending an email with the subject line “20% Chair/speaker discount” to busie@knowres.co.za or magdeline@knowres.co.zaLearn more about the event and see the full program.

The Role Connection Plays in a Democracy

Lincoln memorial in Washington D.C.

Can we embrace the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and move forward in 2021 as people who value connection, cooperation and making progress together toward the common good? Whether your political leanings are toward the left, center or right, whether you identify as a conservative, moderate, progressive or liberal, the political divisiveness and social strife that marked 2020, and were on full display in the troubling events last week in Washington, D.C., underscore the need for cultures of connection to become the norm in our communities, workplaces and governing bodies. 

Exciting News About My Latest Book

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I am thrilled to share that two of the leading book summary organizations in the world – getAbstract and Soundview – have just published summaries of the second edition of my book Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy, and Understanding at Work. Even better, getAbstract rated the second edition as 9 out of 10 and it was selected as an “Editors’ Picks” representing one of the “best of the best”! In addition, Connection Culture is included in the Best Practice Institute’s Holiday Book Recommendations.

You can check out both of the summaries, as well as a Q&A interview with me published by the getAbstract team, at these links:

If the abstracts pique your interest, why not consider giving the book as a holiday gift this year – to yourself, a colleague, or a loved one who would benefit from the message? You can purchase the paperback or audio book edition through Amazon or find the paperback at other retailers.