Staying connected amid disconnection

With offices closed, and staff and clients scattered, maintaining relationships (and sanity) can be hard. Below are eight tactics to manage a disrupted work environment for the duration, and help maintain productivity and healthy relationships.

The first four are specifically for firm leaders and managing partners, and the last four are for everyone trying to maintain their equilibrium while working from home.

MPs: Send a message
During these times, send an important message to your clients. An email from the managing partner should include a "right brain" message communicating calm, compassion, and confidence that the firm will support them through the business and personal impact of the crisis. It should reflect your own voice and come across as warm and human.
MPs: Manage your pipeline
Your prospect pipeline is your lifeline. Modify your pipeline process to include a separate section for clients at risk. Have your pipeline calls once every other week for 30 minutes. You might want to increase the time temporarily for more than 30 minutes to include conversation regarding clients at risk as well. You can define “at risk” however you want. This will keep you connected around the critical element of sustaining revenue.
MPs: Keep reaching out
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If you are doing research calls to explore new markets, this is a perfect time to do them online, whether through Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype or whatever method you prefer. Turn up the burners and keep your research call pipeline up. You’ll find out top issues among your clients and in the market, which will turn into consulting revenue.
MPs: Create communication among staff
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Over Shoulder of Woman In Kitchen Using Laptop - Online Chat with Nurse or Doctor on Screen.
Your people’s productivity will remain high not only due to your monitoring and statistics, but helping them with the emotional aspects of “sense of self.” Community communication is the best tool. Create small-group online calls of four to seven people through Zoom, Google Hangouts or whatever platform works best for you. I’ll call them circles. The objectives are to sustain emotional uplift and share best life-skills ideas.

Get circle leaders in place. Have each circle determine the best times for two calls a week. It could be at happy hour, first thing Monday morning, or any other time of their choosing.
Everyone: Keep the kids out
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Create your own office space and keep the kids out. Put visible “signs” in place that you are “at work” so they behave accordingly.
Everyone: No pajamas
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Get dressed! Continue to suit up for the game, whatever you decided your suit going to be. It will help you get in the zone mentally. A football player doesn’t go out on the field in sweatpants and a tee-shirt.
Everyone: Mind the clock
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Stick to a schedule until you can trust yourself that you have some structure. Think of it as at-home training wheels.
Everyone: Accept the angst
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Portrait of a young businessman holding a pencil and thinking.
Allow yourself to be OK with emotional angst around, “Who am I”? It is totally natural until you get familiar with a sense of self untied to your physical work surroundings. All the best as we navigate the immediate future.
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