In times of uncertainty and doubt, leaders must step up. It is essential, and yes, it’s hard, but we have to be able to navigate the stress, challenge, and fear of the situation not only for our self-care but also in support of those around us as they navigate uncertainty. We have to manage diverse people, dynamics, priorities, and changes.
Throw in the fact that most of this is having to be done remotely while practicing physical distancing makes it even more challenging, yet not impossible. Video chat, phone calls, email and other digital communications tools are now your new best friend.
Here are a few things you can do as a leader while you and your team make your way through this time of intense uncertainty:
Look out for number one
If you’re going to lead others through a time of change, you need to take care of your mental health and manage your challenges. It can be easy to let self-care and stress management practices slip, but it is vital. Take care of yourself first – you’re not selfish. By doing this, you are better equipped to be there for your team.
During times of stress and pressure, people tend to gravitate to the worst-case scenario in their heads. It is essential to keep those lines of communication open, even though, as a leader, you might not be able to guarantee much at the moment, it is essential to share what you do know. The more openly you communicate, the less likely people on your team are to make up stuff that is unproductive and unhealthy.
You don’t have to be a superhero
While some of us are seen as great leaders and at times even superhuman, no one has a giant S painted on their chest. Times are challenging right now, and what your team needs most is authenticity. Let them know how you feel, if you’re scared, don’t be afraid to express that. Authenticity not only helps you personally, but it also helps your team. By showing vulnerability, it allows your team to do the same. It creates the ability for your team to adapt, adjust, and perform in the face of all of this. You’re all in this together.
Even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, work and, more importantly, life, goes on. While the tasks, deliverables and deadlines for work are essential to follow up on, a big part of being a leader, especially now, is to check in with those personally. Ask how they are doing and listen. How are things with their families? Fear and isolation may be at the top of most people’s minds, as a leader you play a significant role in their lives – not just as their supervisor, manager or boss, but as a person that can provide guidance and support.
Change the play on the fly
Using a football analogy, sometimes you have to call an audible and change the play at the line of scrimmage. We’re in uncharted territory; you’re going to need to adapt and be as agile as possible. Some things won’t work, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. Check your ego at the door and respond to who and what you’re dealing with at the moment. Try and tackle this with a growth mindset; you and your team will be better for it.
At BullsEye Recruitment, we are committed to doing our best during this trying time. For details on the services we offer or any other ideas you may be considering, please contact us.
Please take care of yourselves and each other.
Trevor Johnson, Founder
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