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How to be a winner in times of a crisis

For a better future after COVID-19 (5 Actions)

by Eliano Lodesani

Chairman of BESTFIT

Former COO Intesa Sanpaolo and

Professor of Behavioral Science

All of us learn, grow, change. This evolution allows us to adapt to the outside world and to the stimuli that come from it. “Strong feelings": joy, pain, love, hate, fear are the most important activators of the process of change.

The fundamental point is the "contact” between our personality and the outside world, its constraints and its opportunities. In that moment, through behaviours, experiences are created, a factor that creates our epigenetic change. Coronavirus, through the feeling of fear, imposed constraints and restrictions on our personalities that never happened before, forcing us to experiences not even imagined.

Each of us, through his own personality, activates behaviour different from the others, which leads to unique experiences.

It is precisely our personality that amplifies these experiences, making them an irreversible factor of our change:

  • If our personalities have pushed us and push us to be very relational and extrovert, the experience of lockdown will probably be particularly stressful. And we would be looking forward to get out and recover the “lost time”.

  • If, on the contrary, we are introverted and solitary, the lockdown will probably be seen as a great opportunity to stay alone and we would like life to always be like this.

  • If we are rigid, our spirit of adaptation is limited, so we will be tense both at the time of lockdown and at the time of return to “normal life”.

  • If instead we are flexible, we will be able to adapt quickly to different conditions, even the most adverse ones.

Today companies must take into account what is happening to their employees and their customers, because at the reopening companies will find that people are different from how they knew them, in some cases almost unknown.

For companies it becomes essential to “get back to know” both their employees and their customers. Companies must also support them to consolidate their change, to make them understand what has happened to them, and give them the necessary tools to do this.

Some suggestions for companies:


  1. Try to know the personality of each employee. It is necessary to understand how to help him in his change.

  2. Let your employee know how you see his personality. Help to establish a dialectic and strong dialogue and allow him to better understand the reason behind some of his behaviour.

  3. Once you have identified the criticalities/opportunities, give your employees the necessary tools to rebalance and grow: coaching, training, edutainment, dialogue, confrontation, communication, etc.

  4. Make sure that this is not just “an isolated episode”, but that it becomes the normal way to stay close to your employees.

  5. The “magic formula”: listen, understand, return, dialogue, empower. Attention, this is not a linear formula, but a circular one. It is often repeated in our lives: an end is always a new beginning.


  1. Never lose contact with your customers, even if the physical relationship will become more and more nuanced. Knowing their personality gives you two advantages. It allows you to stay in touch in a way that is 'smart'. It also allows you to know which tools and which tone of voice to use to strengthen your relationship with them.

  2. Make them part of their personality traits. This helps them to strengthen self-awareness and to increase the perception of a transparent and equal relationship.

  3. In this way they will be more and more aware of their needs: don’t push, but pull.

  4. Your brand, in this way, increases its social content. Orient your other actions in this direction as well.

  5. The “magic formula”: not selling, but helping customers to understand what they really need. If it works, remember that even in this case, it is not a linear formula, but circular: keep in touch.

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