I caught up with a leader earlier this week. We started work together last September as part of a programme of work with the senior team they lead. The feedback they gave was reassuring “We think of you now as part of the team. You’re our coach.”

You might well be justified in thinking, “Great, well done Matt, piss off you smart arse tosser. And, so what?”

Well, we’ve never met face to face, yet we’ve maintained a strong partnership by building connections through the course of our work together. Of course, this is a 2 way thing. It says as much, actually much more, about them as it does about me.

Given the nature of what we do if you’d asked me 18 months ago if this kind of connection was possible whilst working remotely from home I’d have been doubtful. But I’m concluding that it’s actually because of what we do and how we do it that we’ve been thriving at building connections in these conditions.

How we work with teams is never contrived. We don’t do raft building, trust exercises or problem solving tasks. It’s always about their work, their challenges and their opportunities, in the reality of their conditions. And because it’s real and about the work they do, no matter what the conditions there is a consistent requirement – to perform, individually, collectively and as leaders. And that performance is done by humans, who are leading humans.

The feedback of the leader reinforces to me that through challenging times building connections, teams, leadership and human performance have mattered more than ever. And I suspect over the next couple of years that’s not going to change much as we seek to create the new on the other side of COVID.

If we can help you with any of this good stuff, just get in touch.