COVID is an unexpected test that is shining a light on what it means to be a true leader. At a time when the entire world is facing a pandemic, and social and political angst runs deep across our country, business leaders are facing a wide range of challenges. Managing changes at home can be difficult, but when you are responsible for maintaining the engagement and productivity of a team, it’s even more important to think outside your needs and help others keep their composure.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. When stress is high, it’s important for team members to know what’s going on, what’s expected, and where they fit in. Create opportunities for open dialogue and check-in with team members often to ensure they feel a sense of connection with you and the rest of the organization.
- Stay positive. Your team is looking to you for guidance and stability. Even when you don’t have all the answers, keep a positive atmosphere by focusing on the things within your control. When someone expresses concern, acknowledge how they are feeling and engage them in creating positive solutions. When you inspire people to stay focused on forward-thinking opportunities, it can motivate the entire organization to new heights.
- Stay focused. You can’t address everything that is happening all at once, so focus on what truly matters. Have your team help identify the most pressing challenges and opportunities, and create a plan for achieving your goals. While it’s very easy to spin in circles as you react to every small fire, don’t let the smoke cloud your vision. There’s work to do and staying focused can minimize the distracting “what ifs?”
- Be real. Authenticity is in demand when fears are running high. That doesn’t mean you have to bare your soul, but your team will appreciate honest, straightforward discussions that let them know they are not alone in their concerns and struggles.
- Take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else. Do things that help you stay stable and calm, whether that means going to bed early, going fishing, or playing catch with your kids. Engage more in things that increase your energy rather than deplete it.
Successfully guiding your team through these times is critical to the future of your organization. Use these challenges to help you grow as a leader while setting a positive example of how to reframe problems into solutions.
What other tips would you add to this list?