We live in liminal times, characterized by the uncertainty that accompanies transitions and transformations. Liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold. It can be likened to standing on the cusp of something new but unaware of what that something is. In the business world, executive teams and their employees are experiencing the strain of the unknown differently. While many C-Suite executives are looking forward to getting people back in the office to conduct business as usual, their teams have been reevaluating what matters to them most.
Navigating a solution that works for both parties can be a challenge, but rather than condemning the questions bound to arise there is an option to delight in the "I don't know." Operating in a liminal space creates room for curiosity, naïve questions, and the vulnerability of trying new things. Employers must be tuned into the beliefs motivating their decision-making and not fall into the trap of black and white thinking if they want to reduce the relational gap between employees and employers. Companies that have thrived during this period of prolonged uncertainty have recalibrated their methods and course-correct as they went.
Try out these three tips to navigate the unavoidable uncertainty, with joy.
Write down lessons learned: Document what you've learned. Learning from our team helps us cope and builds resilience and inclusivity. Charting a new territory should be a process that involves input from everyone impacted.
Consciously experiment: Ask Why? And what if? Don't expect to get it right on the first try. Anticipate there being trial and error and consciously experiment with numerous possibilities. To keep you and your team encouraged, document the progress made.
Be curious: Try a new perspective. Get out of your routine and bring new people in to brainstorm solutions to lingering problems. By seeking the input of new voices, you can see things that you may have missed.
While a threshold can feel overwhelming, it is possible to exchange fear with excitement. As Richard Rohr said, this could be "a good space where genuine newness can begin." We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put aside the things that didn't work and start a new era with creativity and innovation.