Leading during times of uncertainty

Leading during uncertain times can obviously be challenging. Managing employee anxiety can be especially difficult but with the right approach, you can navigate through the turbulence and provide effective leadership. It can also provide the incentive for undertaking leadership training to provide you with the necessary skills, structure and support your need.

As a leader, it’s crucial to remain calm and composed, even when faced with uncertainty. What practices have you adopted to get you in the right headspace to deliver a key message? Do you take the time to ground yourself, breathe and be present? Your team looks up to you for guidance and stability. Practice self-care, manage your stress, and project a sense of confidence and resilience.

Uncertain times call for clear and transparent communication. Keep your team informed about the situation, any changes, and the impact it may have on the organisation. Be honest about what’s known and what’s uncertain. Encourage open dialogue, listen to concerns, and address them promptly. As we are noticing far too often in the media right now, by keeping issues closed off, gossip starts to spread. This can have very damaging effects on an organisation. Once the stories have gotten out of control, damage limitation becomes the priority. This is not good for anyone, especially when already in uncertain times. Adding to the internal fear of people within the organisation, stirring up unnecessary concerns, questions and narratives.

Your team needs a sense of direction during uncertain times. Clearly articulate your vision, goals, and priorities. Help your team understand how their work contributes to the overall objectives. This will encourage a sense of purpose and motivation, even in the face of uncertainty. Make sure that you, along with your team, maintain a connection. Discuss topics more openly where appropriate and be more visible. After all, we’re all in this together, right?

Uncertain times require agility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Encourage a culture of resilience and adaptability within your team. Help them embrace change, explore new ideas, and experiment with different approaches. Provide support and resources to help them navigate through challenges. Be mindful that we all adjust to change at a different pace.

Always keep your eye on the person that is in the last carriage of the train of change! Go fast you go alone; go slower and we go for longer and together.

It’s important to involve your team members in decision-making processes which they’re a part of. Seek their input, value their expertise, and empower them to take ownership of their work. By involving them, you can tap into their collective intelligence, increase engagement, and generate innovative solutions. Encourage your team to form a safe place/ container where all topics can be discussed in a timely manner without judgement or criticism.

Uncertainty can take a toll on employee well-being. So be mindful of double signals and mixed messages. Pay attention to the mental and emotional needs of your team members. Offer confidential support, be empathetic, and encourage work-life balance. Provide resources for stress management, mental health, and wellness. When your team feels supported, they are more likely to navigate uncertain times effectively. Be adaptable; in some cases, knowing that a change in environment can unpack more of a person’s needs and wants, change it up. Have a meeting while on a walk, sitting in an outside space, or over a coffee; not all meetings need to be in a closed-off room with a desk separating you both.

Stay informed about the external environment and monitor the changes happening around you. Be proactive in seeking information, analysing trends, and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Stay flexible and ready to pivot as needed.

As a leader your behaviour sets the tone for the entire team. Lead by example, demonstrating the qualities you expect from your team members. Show resilience, adaptability, and a positive attitude. Display a willingness to learn and grow in the face of uncertainty. As a leader, we are all humans, and you will also need time to reflect and look after your well-being. Do not withdraw from your challenges and show your vulnerability in the right way. Be authentic, as we all do our best to navigate these challenging times.

Remember, leading during uncertain times is a continuous learning process. Be open to feedback, reflect on your actions, and adjust when necessary. You can inspire and guide your team through uncertain times by providing stability, clear communication, and support.

If you need guidance and upskilling to help overcome these challenges, ensure you access leadership development training focusing on the required skills and competencies. Organisations must understand the need to provide effective training that resonates and creates lasting change. After all, organisations need now more than ever to not only bring humanity back to work but to invest and keep investing in their people.

Olivier Mythodrama has been delivering innovative and thought provoking leadership training for over 20 years. The people and organisations we have worked with describe our training as life changing. We think they’re right. We already work with some of the world’s leading businesses. Are you ready to join them?

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