For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has made time stand still – the world as we knew it came to a screeching halt and everywhere you turn, talk is about the coronavirus. While the situation remains uncertain, it is important to keep a level of normalcy in our lives. Connecting with loved ones, taking walks to clear our minds, picking up a new hobby or two – all of these actions help keep our minds positive and focused on the good. And there is so much good out there to be had.

Professionally, one activity that tends to energize us is focusing on our own professional development. Many leaders have progressed successfully through their careers thanks to their love of learning – always finding new ways to hone their craft and even re-invent themselves.

COVID-19 may have forced us to hit the breaks on certain aspects of our daily lives; however, it cannot take away our innate thirst for knowledge. And bonus – focusing on your team’s professional development right now just might be the positive distraction we all need.

But in this odd new normal, how do you progress your skills? While the usual methods of development may not be available, the rise of virtual work offers another avenue. Whether you are mentoring your leaders of tomorrow or simply looking to build a high-performing team, consider the following strategies to keep professional development during COVID-19 top of mind:

Virtual lunch-n-learns

Looking for a way to boost both socio-emotional and cognitive learning at the same time within your team? Take your lunch-n-learns virtual! There is nothing stopping you from transitioning this fan-favorite learning style to online. Have everyone brown bag it to your weekly video call and invite an SME to speak to the group. A fun way to keep your team engaged, connected and learning.

Be Social

This sounds great, right?! Especially in an era of “social distancing”. We are social creatures who crave connection. And although we may not be able to get the face-to-face interaction we love right now, virtual is the next best thing. When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Or researched alternatives to LinkedIn to build your online professional community. Take this time to beef up your online presence and connect with new people in your field.

Read, listen, repeat

Encourage your team to read up on topics that will help them develop personally and professionally. Prefer podcasts instead? Check out these 7 inspiring podcasts on leadership.

Times may remain uncertain, however adding in some normalcy to our daily lives can help us push forward during even the darkest of times. We must remember there will be an “after” – how do you want your leaders and teams to emerge?

black businesswoman addressing colleagues at a corporate business meeting, close up

Looking to boost your leadership or professional development efforts? Head on over to our website to download your free copy of Leading the Business for insightful strategies on leading a successful organization. If your organization could benefit from a new perspective during this challenging time, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.