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The last few months with the pandemic have been full of polarities and paradoxes.

Slowing down, speeding up.

The Slow Down

We’ve had to slow our lives down. And we’ve had to do that slow down FAST.

Overnight, everything stopped. No extra trips out-and-about for clothes shopping, or kids’ soccer practices, or dinner out, or birthdays, weddings, or Mother’s Day. No super-charged calendars that caused us to take for granted the color of the blue clear skies and the sound of the birds singing.

If you were sheltered-in-place with family members or a spouse/partner, things slowed down in that area of your life, too. When people are living on top of each other, there is NO speeding past the bumps-and-grinds that a close relationship inevitably brings. Things that bugged you in your partner became magnified because there weren’t the usual distractions we use to mask what needs attention.

As a friend of mine said recently, ‘yeh, it’s forced us to sit in our sh*t.’ Finally, things that hadn’t been addressed are getting addressed.

And on the professional front, slowing down to check-in with colleagues has become paramount. No more rushing past co-workers with a quick “How’s it going?” or “Did you have a good weekend?” Now, the question has become, “How are you … for real?”

Employees are at home parenting toddlers, home-schooling kids, or experiencing isolation. (A special shout-out to the single parents of the pandemic.) They need connection. They need heard. They need encouraged.

Nothing like the vice-grip of life to get our attention to focus on the important stuff … like people and relationships.

The Speed Up

The speed-up themes that seem most prevalent are the need to pivot, and pivot fast.

For many, product offerings that used to work stopped working. Marketing messaging needed adjusted so as to not sound tone deaf. Virtual working arrangements and team communications needed rapid attention.

Crisis Accelerates Two Things

Crisis absolutely accelerates:

  • Mindfulness: We’ve had to stop, pause, and ask ourselves what we’re actually experiencing, grieving, and needing?
  • Change: We’ve had to ask ourselves, what wants to happen? What would bring life and benefit and value to our current relationships, customers, community, and world?

How about you? What’s rapidly slowed down in your world? What pivots have you made … and been proud of? What is aching to happen in your life and work?


If you’re interested in career coaching, one of the programs we’ve changed up to meet current needs is our Certified Career Management Coach program. It’s now a fast-track 8-week accelerated course. Next class starts in about four weeks. Contact rebecca@theacademies.com for more info.

If you’re interested in keeping your teams connected using a peer coaching approach, ask about our upcoming “Create C.A.L.M. and Carry On” program! Contact rebecca@theacademies.com for more info.