We live in a world of constant disruption. Technology and the amount of information that we are exposed to so quickly makes our world disruptive. There is a lot of noise out there. At times it is hard for us to figure out what we should focus on and what we should not concern ourselves with at this very moment.
Now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the disruption has heightened. So much of our everyday world is no longer functioning the way it did even a week ago. Events have been canceled, travel has been banned, our children are out of the classroom, you may be working from home, or you may have found yourself suddenly out of work.
As a leader, you are just as affected by all of the disruption as everyone else. You are just as uncertain about how all of this will impact your organization. You are concerned for everyone’s health and safety. You are likely wondering whether or not you are making the right decisions in navigating this very new territory. Now the question is, how do I successfully lead other people through this?
This time of uncertainty calls for quick decisions since pivotal moments are coming at us so rapidly. You may need to make some big decisions and change the way you are doing business right now. Or you may need to reign in your urge to make a big change and stay your current course. Here are three things you can do right now to help you navigate new leadership territory.
Step One—Take a Step Back
I am going to take a page from my Coach Approach Leadership Guide and ask you to take a step back, pause for a moment and do a bit of reflecting. Before you react, think about how you want to respond to whatever is going on for you. Uncertainty triggers survival mode in all of us. It is how you are hard-wired. Taking a step back allows you to separate yourself from your emotions and you will be less likely to react out of fear. That means you can respond and be strategic about what you decide to do.
Step Two—Be Vulnerable
It’s okay to let everyone know what is making you uncomfortable. Everyone will breathe a big sigh of relief when you let them know your fears and concerns because they are having them too. You will create safety, which is what everyone is craving. By voicing your emotions and concerns, you will create safety for yourself. This is an opportunity for you to create a profound sense of belonging, trust and purpose, especially if people are working remotely. You want to keep everyone in your organization connected to your purpose since that has not changed; however, people’s focus has and that’s okay. Your responsibility as a leader is to guide them through it and there is no better way to do that than to be vulnerable since vulnerability creates trust.
Step Three—Collaborate to Find New Opportunities
Ask people what support from you looks like. Ask them what they need from you and the organization to be successful. Ask them for their thoughts and ideas about the challenges you are facing. And then work together to find a solution that works for them and the organization. This is when your coach approach leadership skills will really need to kick in. You may be entering some new territory here. You may be conducting business in a way that you never have. You may try something that doesn’t work the way you thought it would. It’s all an experiment and your leadership will guide them through it. And because you have created a profound sense of belonging, trust and purpose, your people will gladly step up and contribute.
Do you want you and your team to be intentional about how you are responding to the situations and interactions that are happening every day? Do you want everyone to be connected to the purpose of the organization so you can get the best results? Becoming a coach approach leader will definitely help you create high performers. It will also help you perform better since it all starts with you.
Take the first step toward making a positive shift for yourself and your team, and schedule a discovery session today.