I recently had the opportunity to interview Karin Lindner of Karico International. It was a chance to get the inside scoop on how business leaders have really been coping during this crisis.
We chatted about leadership lessons learned during the pandemic and the opportunities for business leaders to shine and make a difference.
Here's the full video, a transcript of which follows underneath
Hello everyone, thanks ever so much for tuning in for today's video.
Delighted today to be joined by Karin Lindner, who's is the Founder of Karico International.
Karin, thanks ever so much for taking the time to join us today.
Would you like to just tell everyone a little bit about your business and your background?
Of course. Hello Tony, thanks so much for having me today.
Yeah, like you said, my name is Karin Lindner.
My company's Karico International and I moved from Austria to Canada 17 years ago, worked for a huge automotive supplier and that's actually where I found my passion for what I do today.
I started my business 13 years ago.
I am a trainer and a coach solely focusing on people in the manufacturing industry at all levels.
So during my time at Magna International, I recognized that there's a tremendous communication gap between management and the workforce, and I made it my life's mission to help companies to get better with that.
So I can imagine you have seen a lot of changes and a lot of impact from COVID-19 and how it's impacting businesses and people.
What are your observations about how the work environment is being impacted during these times?
Yeah, tremendous change.
I know people still hope that it gets back to normal, but this is not going to happen.
It will be a new normal.
I actually see as bad as COVID is for all of us - because it changed our lives so much - I see also a lot of positive in it for companies.
But what my observations are is really that it has never been a more difficult time for a leader, to navigate through uncertainty and having to display a lot of emotional intelligence at the same time.
So especially in the industry I'm working in there is a lot of pressure, it's high demands.
It's very, very fast pace and so it's very difficult for people when they have a lot of things to deal with in their personal life, they may have elderly parents in their home, they can't visit them in the hospital.
Many people are on pay cuts they have worries about how to sustain their financial future.
Little children at home who interrupt their work at home so working at home is a whole new thing.
And yeah, leaders often don't really have all the answers that the team members want to know.
So those are the main challenges, I would say.
Totally mirrors what we're seeing here in the UK and across clients I'm talking to as well.
What do you think of the opportunities for leaders in all of this?
And how can they make themselves stand out?
What are you advising people to focus on?
Yeah there is tremendous opportunity for companies, I would say.
The first thing is that I think people at all levels have to focus more on being, instead of doing.
So what do I mean by that? Mindful leadership, really thinking about, how do I come to work every day?
How do I interact with people?
Do I engage with them and ask them, how are you doing today?
Is everybody okay at home, become more observant.
Also of the behavior of people.
It's so huge, we cannot get into people's minds.
But I often say the thoughts run through people's faces.
So if they are very tense or if they're very frustrated or easily snap there's a reason for it and we cannot expect that people have high productivity if something is not okay in their lives.
So there's an opportunity on becoming better with emotional intelligence, definitely building rapport with people when people resist certain tasks.
Then there is essentially a challenge with rapport of the leader, so connecting with them at a whole different level is very important.
Assigning a different meaning to difficult situations, like COVID.
If you look for it, we can find the positive in it.
But complaining about the current state doesn't really help us.
So we can all say, where's the opportunity in all of this?
And I honestly wouldn't know where our world would have ended up at, if COVID wouldn't have hit us and made us appreciate certain things that we may have never thought about in the past, like hugging a family member. Now it's almost an act of love for us not to visit, and it's really, really strange not to do that, or grocery shopping like things that we took for granted and that we could all do, we can't do any more.
So I think the biggest opportunity for companies is really in building a stronger connection with the people, treating them well, educating them, giving them the tools and techniques that they need to deal with difficult situations.
And we will all be fine, we will get through this collectively.
That's what I believe. Absolutely.
And if you think about all the leaders you've come into contact with over the last few weeks and you put them on a scale from being totally panicked about what to do through to they feel totally confident about what needs to change, what needs to be done.
Where would you say leaders are at the moment in that spectrum?
You know what I see leaders actually very, very much distracted by everything that is happening.
Their emotional state is set off often. Sometimes they're not aware of it.
I see it in my coaching clients. The work I do is not so much skill-based.
It's all in people's head and learning, to turn the soft process around, attention management, energy management.
If you feel really bad, then we give our attention to the wrong things.
So I would say leaders can improve a lot by educating themselves, reading books, listening to podcasts, hiring a coach, getting the training, attending webinars.
There's so much free stuff out there. This video will be one of it. That can really, really help people. That's what I will say.
Some really interesting insights today Karin, thanks ever so much for that.
If people would like to know more, if they want to contact you or learn more about your business, is there some details you'd like to share?
Sure, they can definitely check out my website.
And that's where they can find my phone number, my contact information and of course, my LinkedIn profile as well.
Karin, thanks ever so much for your time.
Have a great rest of the week everyone.
You too, Tony. Thanks so much for having me, bye-bye.
Bye for now.
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