Why We should all become tour guides
We have all been experiencing drastic changes, new normals almost every day, and quite some emotional roller coasters in the last months.
Being honest: who has not felt lost from time to time?
As a consultant, trainer, leader, wife, and mom – I realized lately more than ever before that providing tips and guidance isn’t enough (esp. in tough times).
Taking responsibility and acting on it counts – even if it includes hard decisions.
Leading the way through an adventure safari – that we sometimes didn't even book but happened to land in the midst of it all of a sudden.
Thinking of leading the way through adventures and difficult challenges, it started feeling like being the tour guide who plans the trip, sets sail and takes the tour-lead being responsible for the group. Here are a couple of tour-guide tips that might help you master all sorts of change:
1. Plan for the plannable and be prepared for the unforeseen(i.e. carry first aid kits, maps, food, water, life vests, know who to call for help)
2. Lay-out the trip and plan how you can best get from A to B to C(what vehicle, what stopover, what reward, what additional information or help do you need at certain points)
3. Communicate the goal(s) and steps of the journey (whether it is a tour around the world or the family trip to visit grandma during Corona) in advance and continuously throughout the trip by being:
a. Honest - what will we feel, why are we late in our plans now, why will we not reach the goal anymore, why did we have to leave person XYZ behind at our last stop to make sure we are all safe
b. Empathetic - we all have emotions and as a tour guide you have to be aware of your own and those of others
c. Clear - do not talk around the bush, sometimes fewer words are more
d. Timely – a change of path after the entire group is already wondering where they are going is too late!
e. Attentive - to your surroundings - meaning watching for obstacles and wonderful moments and listen to your people and helpers
f. Rewarding - even for small steps on a difficult journey
4. Feel and act responsible for your people – your tour-group – and truly care for them. Caring does not mean over-protecting. Caring means teaching them to be able to care for themselves, i.e. how to behave that they are not eaten by a tiger. And caring also sometimes requires to push them towards their learnings and improvements.
5. Be the guiding light and lead by example whenever you can – also being honest when you fail or need additional help
6. Empower the tour-guides of the future and let them help you along the way
Those tour-guide-steps can be equally applied to major transformations as well as to a changing home environment due to corona or a personal crisis like an illness. Only the span of impact, responsibility, and meaning might be different.
Let's all think of us as a tour guide and take the lead!
Nicole D. Rasmussen, Head of Academy +R