We are most vulnerable after a transition. Let’s be kind and support each other as we rediscover our collective ways.
The pandemic atomised us. Each of us in our own little digital algorithmic bubble. Whether you lived alone or with others, we needed to log in to learn, work and interact alone. Even as we fought back with new collective traditions like video call drinks or family checkin calls, we were together but alone.
Now as we come back to collective experiences in person we have to adjust. That adjustment makes us vulnerable. The old experiences that we have not seen for years are intense, tiring, don’t have a mute button and don’t end on the hour as we log out. Add to that new uncertainties and stresses about new social rules and lingering risks and there’s much to put people on edge.
In Tuckman’s model groups form, storm, norm and perform. Importantly this process is a circle that continues as changes occur in the group and their environment. We are reforming post the pandemic in a new collective. Do we have the energy and patience for the storming to come?
Whether or not, we have any appetite for storming and norming anew, conflict is creative and generative. Conflict will come. The test is that we respond with skills that break the digital bubbles built over two years. Empathy, compassion, inclusion, and kindness will be much needed as we make the new adjustments. These are the antidotes to our vulnerabilities. These are the foundations of great collective experiences.
In the words of a Frank Turner song, Be more kind.