CACEE Competencies and COVID-19
COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives. Most of us have been forced out of our routine, be it personal or professional. As with any crisis, while the negative effects are self-evident, we can also find some positive outcomes. We have an opportunity to utilize and develop our competencies in ways that we may not have foreseen even a few months ago. Indeed, I have witnessed some of these competencies in action quite recently in ways that are specifically related to the current situation of physical distancing we all find ourselves in.
Collaboration: As a relatively new member to CACEE, I am still learning about opportunities to share knowledge and just this week I attended my first virtual town hall. While this wasn’t the first virtual town hall to be held by anyone, the fact that these virtual collaboration opportunities are currently being held on a weekly basis is directly related to the impact of COVID-19. This week’s session was a great way for people to ask questions and share their knowledge about a topic many of us are now grappling with: “virtual information sessions”. I believe that virtual collaboration will become more the norm than the exception when we transition back to closer physical social interactions. It removes the limitation for teams, colleagues or people with a common interest to be in the same location to share information in real time. This provides the opportunity for all of us to learn how to collaborate effectively in the virtual world.
Communication: Video chat has become the “current norm” for people to exchange information and ideas. Platforms like, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, etc. are seeing traffic that they never would have imagined at this point in our digital evolution. We are all taking advantage of them, for personal interaction and for work. It gives us the opportunity to practice sharing ideas, presentations, and other materials in a visual and auditory way as though we were in the same place as our audience or colleagues. Email, the previous communication mode of choice in the workplace, will likely become less prevalent as we shift to communicating in ways that provide more context. Since so many of us are using the same means to communicate, I believe there will be fewer misunderstandings as we all learn to “speak the same language”. Of course, it also means that we need to get better at active listening and presenting our ideas in front of others.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: As so many of us are working or attending school from home, it is more important than ever to ensure that people have the tools and support they need to be successful. People who have disabilities may have specific requirements, such as assistive technology or ergonomic supports to enable their continued success. As we talk to students and employers, are we checking to see if people have reliable access to the internet where they are? Are meetings being set up to be fully accessible in this virtual world? What other accommodations might people who have disabilities need access to, now that they are working or studying at home? This pandemic gives us the opportunity to increase our awareness and demonstrate leadership and champion this area of competency with a renewed sense of importance.
As you think about these and other competencies, consider what you are learning as you manage in this COVID environment and what you can share with others. Think about the unique opportunities presented by this current situation, and how you can adapt your strengths and competencies within an expanding virtual world. The CACEE Competency Framework can help to guide your professional development during this time.
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Relationship Manager, Canada, Lime Connect