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Lessons Learned, Resolutions Made

January 4, 2021

By: Wendy Sheaffer

As I was riding through a neighborhood park recently, I fell off my bike. You know, to properly end 2020.

To avoid a mom pushing a stroller, I swerved onto the grass. As I was stand pedaling (this is probably not an official cycling term) to get through it and around her, feeling good about my quad strength, my tire fell into a rather deep (and totally hidden) hole, effectively halting my bike but not my body, which flew over the handle bars.

With true Simone Biles grace, I did a near flawless tuck and roll and somehow had the presence of mind to turn and catch the bike that was about to flip right on top of me. I guess the bike did keep going.  It could have been considered an elegant fall if not for the fact that my right wrist, right ankle, left knee, left shoulder, collar bone and maybe my pelvis immediately started hurting. Middle age isn’t for wimps. After the mom asked if I was okay, not actually stopping because “social distancing,” I continued my ride.

At home, I applied ice to my shoulder, took a few Motrin and contemplated the lessons we’ve all learned from 2020, along with resolutions for a better, more productive, and hopefully injury-free 2021.

Things we learned in 2020: There isn’t always safety in numbers.
Resolution: Find new ways to connect with friends, family and coworkers.

Things we learned in 2020: You really only need to look good from the waist up.
Resolution: Wear pants without an elastic waistband at least once a week.

Also: Elastic waistbands do not tell the real story. Enough said.

Things we learned in 2020: Ergonomics matter.
Resolution: After several months working crisscross applesauce on your couch, create a more effective (and circulation-friendly) workspace.

Things we learned in 2020: Listening to your 5th grader’s Zoom lessons reintroduces you to basic concepts like prime numbers, composite numbers, integers, multiples and factors.
Resolution: Figure out what those are.

Things we learned in 2020: Technology is great for keeping us connected, though it’s possible to be over-connected.
Resolution: Shut your virtual door from time to time to get things done. Do not have multiple conversations going at one time via email, text, Teams, Messenger and Hangouts…at least not while you’re in that Zoom meeting. Schedule downtime in your week to focus on projects and tasks and block off the time on your calendar so others know you’re unavailable.

Things we learned in 2020: You can be late to work even when you never leave your house. Other things are quick to fill the time vacuum left by not having a daily commute especially if your homelife, work life and kids’ school all happen in the same house.
Resolution: Prioritize responsibilities and effectively manage time.

Things we learned in 2020: Remote work does not resemble quarantine work, at least not when you have children at home. Enough said.

Things we learned in 2020: It is possible to watch 6 years’ worth of television in less than 2 weeks. I binged Downton Abbey like it was a sport and now the voice in my head has an English accent.
Resolution: More reading, more exercise, less television.

Things we learned in 2020: You don't burn as many calories sitting on Zoom calls all day as you do dashing through airports, standing up in a tradeshow booth and darting in and out of client buildings.
Resolution: Do not grab a piece of candy from the kitchen every time you refill your water bottle. Oh, and remember to refill your water bottle.

Things we learned in 2020:  Zoom shows more than we think it does.
Resolution:  Notify your husband when you are on a video call and lock the door anyway; my colleagues can’t unsee those Christmas boxers.

Things we learned in 2020: Tiger King taught us you can feel good about your life yet weep for humanity. I wasn’t sure what I was watching, but I couldn’t look away.
Resolution: Give yourself a break, you’re definitely normal… as long as you don’t own any tigers.

Things we learned in 2020: The internet works just as good outside.
Resolution: Spend more days working on the porch breathing in fresh air.

Things we learned in 2020: Working alone can be productive, but very lonely.
Resolution: Make a new friend that is NOT named Siri, Alexa or Pandora. They don’t get me.

Things we learned in 2020: It’s hard for people to tell you’re smiling at them behind a mask.
Resolution: Find new non-verbal ways to say hello like a friendly nod, a wink, flashing a peace sign, or (my personal favorite) jazz hands.

We definitely learned a lot in 2020. We learned how to deal with uncertainty, how to be resourceful, and how to adapt to changing circumstances quickly. We learned from our mistakes and from our challenges, and we shared our successes with others. Omnia is great at helping companies use personality data to effectively manage and engage their teams, which is more helpful than ever as we navigate our new realities. In 2021, resolve to understand your employees even better, find out what makes them tic, read their Omnia reports and create at least one action item to improve communication and feedback on your team.

After my fall, I attempted to give my son some biking advice, and he informed me I might not be the best person to be listening to on that topic. It was “don’t pedal in deep grass because you can’t see holes, “so his loss. Let’s all resolve to continue learning from one another.

Wendy Sheaffer

Chief Product Officer at The Omnia Group, an employee assessment firm providing the power of behavioral insight to help organizations make successful hires and develop exceptional employees. Wendy joined Omnia as an analyst in 1998 and is a subject matter expert in using Omnia’s 8 columns as a tool to make more-informed hiring and development decisions and effectively engage staff. She works directly with clients and Omnia staff to provide a deeper understanding of how to use personality data to meet business goals. Wendy provides strategic direction on client requests, projects and product training sessions. For more information, email or call 800.525.7117.

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