We all lack experience in facing the current situation as the world struggles to deal with the COVID19 pandemic. As leaders, now more than ever, it’s important to step up to help our teams through this crisis. Below are some tips to provide strong leadership in times of crisis:
While many of us were leading remote teams previously, now almost all of us are leading remote workers. It is critical to keep the lines of communication open and frequent with your employees. This means both telling and directing; as well as listening. Schedule daily check-in team meetings via videoconferencing technology so everyone sees each other.
Allow time both for input from them and for you to provide direction. You must LISTEN to not just what your team is saying, but how they are saying it. You want to identify any teammates that are struggling so you can provide extra support.
“It’s also important to have one-on-one meetings, if at all possible, with each team member at least once a week. If your team is too large for this, then break into teams of no more than 5 people, so that people feel free to share.”
Let people know you may not have all the answers either. Don’t be disingenuous and too rah-rah. It’s okay to say you’re uncertain how long limitations will last, the effect that the slowing economy may have on your particular business. Tell them what you do know.
Be human. People see right through fake, so be yourself.
3. Remain Calm
Followers will follow their leader’s moods. If you exude calmness, that will help settle them down as well. If you appear agitated and worried, they will pick up on that and it will heighten their fears.
Put your game face on and maintain your composure.
4. Prioritize Work
Having people work remotely may limit some activities they can accomplish due to available resources. Or having kids at home due to the school closings may distract other workers occasionally. Determine and communicate the key tasks that must get done for your business to survive.
What needs to get done?
5. Short-term focus
As leaders, we typically need to balance the long term by providing a vision for the future, with the short-term. However, in a crisis, it’s crucial to focus on the short-term. There are too many unknowns to fully understand how this health crisis will affect our lives and businesses. Certainly, keep informed. With your teams, you need to focus on the day-to-day, week-to-week tasks. In a continually changing environment, we must be nimble and agile to respond effectively.
Helping your team get the immediate, important things done will also help them feel more in control.
Joni Lindquist, MBA, CFP®, a former corporate executive, is a Principal, Financial Planner and Executive Coach at Aspyre Wealth Partners. She helps people Master What’s Next®, no matter what phase of life. Aspyre partners with clients to navigate life transitions. A dog lover, Joni also golfs, exercises, travels, and watches old mystery TV shows.