Communication, Comfort Zone and Coronavirus. The toughest couple of weeks so far…..

Written by Rhiannon Woodrow

In previous blogs, I have spoken about the challenges I have faced thus far from a personal and professional perspective. One thing I can say for certain, is that as someone who prides herself on the ability to reflect on personal strengths, areas for development and potential areas of conflict, I must say that working remotely 100% of the time, locked down with family members, and trying to remain close to those on the other side of the world, I am no longer able to rely on instinctively communicating with my stakeholders, but having to heavily revisit my understanding of personality types, effective communication and embracing our differences, in order to remain connected and engaged in positive relationships.

My family have always been interested in how our personality types affect our communication often in the past taking a healthy dinner time debate in to a world war three style argument – when in fact we were all closely aligned in our opinions, values and thought processes. What we discovered along the way was our ability to communicate was the ultimate let down, with us all clashing over our tone of voice, our messaging and ultimately how we deliver our messages. As soon as I started on my professional career, I realized that my workplace, and external stakeholders were like extended family, and that my ability to build effective relationships was going to rely heavily on my ability to communicate effectively with people across a spectrum of industries, career levels, locations, cultures and personality types.

I am an extreme ENFP (In Myers Briggs terms) which means, highly extrovert, intuitive, feeling and perceptive… as with many personality types, I have my areas of strength, however looking at my areas of development (heightened during times of crisis and pressure) I can at times be seen by others as over sensitive, placing more importance on big picture ideas over facts and detail, being seen to not follow though on things at times (procrastinating), and someone that can place too much emphasis on people’s feelings and harmony, over getting the task in hand complete… it is easy to see why during lock down it has presented additional challenges and areas of contention.

I feel extremely grateful for the open, collaborative and empathetic environment in which I work and live, meaning that when times get tough, we pull together, work together and ultimately share in each other’s challenges and successes.

Most days I believe it is about getting through the current situation in the most positive way possible, and trying my hardest not to put pressure on myself and others to be perfect 100% of the time… I definitely believe this time in lock down will make us, more self aware, more empathetic and more understanding towards those we interact with on a daily basis.