As the world and businesses struggle to make sense of and face the coronavirus threat, leadership will be tested in many ways. How do you act quickly in the midst of so much uncertainty and risks? At the macro level, successful companies will “mirror biology as Darwin concluded; those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change”.
Managing change is a special leadership skill. When you are navigating unknown lands, good leaders can make a difference. Here are 5 things that leaders can do to handle this crisis and emerge stronger than ever.
Leadeship in time of crisis
In a crisis, you will not have all the answers but will need to address unknown issues showing certain level of certainty. Aligning expectations and realities requires skills and patience, as well as the ability to admit you do not have all the answers. Leaders should be able to conquer communications barriers and communicate well and often.
Keep calm and do your job
Leaders have all eyes on them, which can be an intense experience. In adverse situations, people look to leaders, searching for guidance and inspiration. You need to be more of what makes you who you are: This is the right occasion to show your values, talents and experience that have transform you into a leader.
Remain as optimistic as possible. How you show up in a crisis has a significant impact on your team. Positive thoughts and actions focus on strengths, successes, opportunities and collaboration, values that can lead to positive energy, confidence and purpose.
Always tell the truth
Crisis can lead to misinformation and confusion. When a problem arises, explain it honestly, in a straightforward way, focusing on positive aspects. Choose words wisely, be consistent and clear.
Listen to understand. Show people that you genuinely care by relating to their perspective. Recognize behaviors and respond to emotions. Remember: Empathy isn’t about what you want–it’s about what the other person needs. Your actions should benefit them.
Lead by example
Leaders simply lead. No matter what the situation is, double standards always feel like a betrayal. If this ever happened to you, you can probably remember that sense of disappointment. If you are in a leadership position, you know that you have a responsibility to your team. They look to you for guidance and advice so it is your responsibility is to lead them with your own actions.
Leaders should always be prepared and they do not panic. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Get ready for chaos
With many things of our control, leaders will need to adopt a crisis management approach. The firts step will be to pick up a few priorities to focus on while regaining balance. Start setting small goals so that people can feel some sense of positive movement. You might need to redesign operating rules, even temporarily, to address uergent requirements. Pay close attention the way you and your team are managing stress.
Create virtual team-building
As companies are encouraging more and more employees to work from home, virtual team-building becomes essential. Interacting with one another helps remote co-workers get to know each other better, A manager should be able to understand working styles, motivate the team and create real relationships virtually in order to keep everybody aligned and improve productivity.
The future will bring a new normal that no one can predict today. All we can do is prepare ourselves to walk straight into the chaos, bringing our personal best to rally the troops through these challenges into the new day. Don’t miss an opportunity to lead–to rise above the chaos and crisis when everything seems impossible. Your team and your society needs you. Do you have what it takes?