Without a timeline to guide us on the the CoronaVirus situation we need to rely on a strong leadership skillset to navigate us through the coming months. When I use the term ‘leadership’ I refer to your ability to positively influence those around you. We all need to step-up in our awareness & practice of self-leadership in order to help others.
Here’s a reminder of what those around you need:
- Communicate often, honestly & proactively – don’t wait until someone asks, people will be too scared to upset anyone, step into conversations often so everyone is kept informed and up to date.
- Be honest and consistent – when questioned give honest answers – if you don’t know the answer be up front. Avoiding difficult questions elevates people’s fears & anxieties.
- Check in on people’s mindsets – share your insights & strengthen connections – this will buffer the chaos and help reframe people’s perspectives.
- Be purposeful – not reactive. Have the patience and calmness to sit through a chaotic environment and make sound decisions. Don’t make 100 frantic reactions, try proactive, purposeful decision-making.
- Give them the ‘Why’ – a great trigger for anxiety during change is lack of understanding. Explain why you have chosen decisions in order to bring everyone else on your journey.
- Focus on what you CAN control – your responses, attitude, behaviours, words and actions. Be proactive rather than reactive.
- Listen – what are everyone’s greatest fears, discuss these to see if you can create strategies to minimise these and lower anxieties.
- Share key learning moments – uncertainty creates resilience. As we front each problem we grow skills and resilience which strengthens us for the next challenge
- Prepare for every possibility – have a backup plan A, and a backup plan B, to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Be ready to accept change – if change is here, step in so you can adapt quicker; when we push back we create further anxiety & a more drawn out process through lack of acceptance.
- You are on stage – people will look to you for direction on how they should think, feel, act and behave (just like we look to the flight attendants when we hit turbulence when flying), keep calm, lead with dignity. Times of uncertainty will reveal your maturity as a leader. How can you help others?
- Try not to overthink – curiosity is good at times but damaging if it’s obsessive.
- It’s not all about me – the leaders who will thrive will be those with minimal egos who see their real purpose as enabling those around them to be their best.
Uncertainty is difficult and a lot of us handle it poorly. Some people freeze, some go extremely quiet, and some melt down completely. Our job as leaders in times of uncertainty is not to blink. Provide an anchor point which remains strong and consistent to help others stay positive & accepting of the change around them. We all need to practice self-leadership, starting today.