We recently facilitated a session on metaskills to guide purpose, leadership, and well-being as we wade forward in unprecedented times. Much of the session was spent in small zoom breakout sessions to identify metaskills, discuss meanings, challenge each other to stretch, and sort through the obstacles to realizing our metaskills.
This was not only invigorating, but essential. The physical needs of reopening organizations have been addressed: physical distancing, mask use, hand sanitizer, disinfecting schedules; however, the psychological, emotional, social, and financial dimensions have been largely ignored. Much healing is needed as society works through the traumatic stress from the pandemic, social injustices, and political violence witnessed.
Employers must work to establish trust, well-being, and psychological safety. Doing so is essential to healing, productivity, fulfillment and well-being – actually, these have always been essential, but now can no longer be denied or believed to be ‘fluffy benefits,’ as emphasized by CHROs, 4 Cornerstones of Well-Being. Success requires that employees have an integral role in this process from assessing needs, planning, and implementing initiatives. We are all partners, collaborators, and co-creators of the solutions. All voices must be heard and considered to actualize results and embrace inclusivity.
There are metaskills commonly advocated such as developing,
* Physical Self-Care such as sleep, physical activity, and nutrition.
Other metaskills were discussed and actually advocated by the GreaterGood including,
* Humility – questioning our assumptions and listening to others. This important skill can be cultivated since many haven’t learned to question their own beliefs and open to other ways of knowing. We need to foster this essential skill as we move into 2021.
* Self-Awareness – 2020 caused us all to hit pause. Self-awareness is essential to cultivate humility, compassion, and empathy. Take the time to quiet your inner voice and become familiar with your inner world.
* Compassion – compassion is the wish for another not to suffer and to be moved to want to help. Compassion and connection were witnessed during the heartache of 2020. The first steps are to open our hearts and quiet our minds. Compassion also includes extending compassion to self. Many believe this must happen before we can cultivate compassion for others, like putting your oxygen mask on first before assisting those around you to put theirs on.
* Plus, Gratitude, a sense of Awe, and Love. Love in the sense of the wish for happiness for all, which encompasses developing equanimity.
Additional metaskills identified to foster and to remove hurdles in order to allow the skills to guide us through the post-traumatic stress of 2020?
Each participant identified, made meaningful, and analyzed their individual metaskills during the session to develop a guiding plan moving forward in 2021 and beyond. Hopefully these are the lasting learnings to take with us in life. Metaskills are essential and must be cultivated – and yes, these are all skills that need to be, and can be, learned and cultivated by managers and employees.