January is history but up next is more of the same. February may be 10% shorter but it still feels like the Tuesday of the year and, in 2021, a cold, wet one at that.

We will not emerge from lockdown this month either, placing more pressure upon key relationships, personal and professional. Face-to-face contact may be a distant memory.

On several fronts, therefore, warmth is a valuable commodity right now. Within business relationships, however, it can be overlooked in favour of more concrete dimensions.  

In her excellent book, Presence, Amy Cuddy reminds us that humans assess each other on two criteria, equating to warmth and competence. Counter-intuitively, though, judgments on the former hold primacy. In Cuddy’s words: “From an evolutionary perspective, it is more crucial to know whether a person deserves our trust.”

With relationship temperature in mind, here are three areas of focus for February:

  • Variation – routine can toxify any liaison. Blend the communication, a phone call for a change, maybe talk over a walk, mix it up
  • Activation – is there a gap between strategy and execution? Getting stuff done is vital and can suffer at times like this due to reduced engagement, teams not being aligned
  • Evaluation – invest in ensuring your relationships are performing at their best, bring in an independent expert, I can help here paul@bigfootconsulting.co.uk    

Warmer weather will come soon and help lighten the mood. Warmer relationships will add dynamism to our emergence from lockdown.