Choppy seas can’t disrupt our need for human skills

There can be little doubt we live in a disrupted world – one troubled by political upheaval, shaken by the impact of rapid technological transformation, and now gripped by a global health crisis. It is anything but business as usual.

Throughout this turmoil, though, there’s one essential thing that hasn’t changed – us.

Whatever our challenges and however they affect our boardrooms and bottom lines, we’re still the same highly varied, brilliant, maddening and vulnerable human beings we always were.

And, in such a disrupted world, our human skills are more important than ever. Our ability to work well together – to effectively harness our different abilities, outlooks and aptitudes – could prove the difference between business success and business failure. To do so requires self-awareness, leadership and real connection between all members of our teams.

Technology has advanced so far and so fast in the past two decades, and the pace of this advancement will only accelerate during the coming two. But tech can only do so much. To be part of a truly connected and effective team we need to unleash our humanity, and the human skills of our colleagues.

Our empathy and compassion; our ability to lead, connect and communicate; our agility and power to innovate – all are uniquely human traits. And now more than ever, and as we respond to such challenging times, we need to use these skills.

Each of us draws on the different elements of our personalities every day. Perhaps you’re introverted and a whizz with the detail – or maybe you’re more extroverted and focused on action. Do you recognise members of your team who are considerate and supportive types, or those who are naturally confident, breezy and outgoing? The Insights model, based on the work of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, shows how we all tap into these Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Earth Green and Sunshine Yellow energies through our lives and in our work, and allows us to put them to best use.

Because if we harness these human traits properly, we can build more effective teams and achieve success together. Members of our teams can make huge strides when they understand their approach and the approaches of their colleagues, and can begin to use this understanding to work better – and smarter – with one another.

And we will need to work smarter. The global health crisis prompted by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak threatens us all, and could be set to challenge us for months, even years to come. It’s no exaggeration to say that it may change the world of work forever.

But, while the nature, pattern or location of our work may change, the sparky and ingenious humans we rely on to drive forward our businesses won’t. And they will still need our support and investment to hang together as a team, as a community of practice, and as bearers of our business values.

Like many other organisations, Insights has faced a flurry of headwinds before. We were able to weather the storm of the global financial crisis which began in 2008 and, ultimately, grow. How? By turning to our own community, being straight and clear with our teams, and asking everyone to work together to help turn the tide. They did. And others saw what Insights achieved and placed their trust in us.

So we know that those essential human qualities of empathy, compassion and self-awareness will prove even more vital as we set a course to navigate the choppy seas of disruption now before us, today and in the years ahead.

We can use our expertise to help you and your people achieve critical business breakthroughs. To learn more about what we offer – including a full suite of programmes delivered entirely virtually – click here.

Fiona Logan is Chief Executive of Insights Learning and Development. Founded almost 30 years ago, in Dundee, Scotland, by father-and-son team Andi and Andy Lothian, Insights is a global leader in self-awareness and personal development and operates in more than 90 countries. Clients include more than 80 per cent of both the S&P and FTSE 100 indexes, and some of the biggest names in the world of sports, pharmaceuticals and technology.