The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in all of us. Now is the time to rise as leaders. Whatever shortcomings people may have in the face of a crisis, they can still overcome challenges successfully as a team.
COVID-19 has forced many unprepared people to work from home, and it has caused pre-existing work relationships to fray as people worry about their future. Leading in the face of this crisis means tackling complex issues and working with psychology.
People need strong leadership in order to achieve when times are tough. Already, people are comparing the economic fallout of the pandemic to the Great Depression. Standout leaders in this situation will draw upon the strengths of their teams to tackle obstacles.
Here are a few things leaders can do to bring out the best in their people.
Be Clear, Kind, and Consistent
Stress makes every instruction more difficult to absorb for many people. The chaos of the pandemic doesn’t help. Remember the 10X10X10 rule here, and keep a kind tone.
Kind can mean a lot of things. But in a difficult pandemic where efforts go overlooked, it often means sharing people’s stories and highlighting their hard work. Taking care not to show too much favoritism and to share the praise, make sure to detail how your teams overcome.
Keeping the Goal in Mind, Set Clear Boundaries
People need structure when it comes time to tackle chaos. It’s just not very organized working in a pandemic, and there’s no way around it. Make sure that you clearly define your goals and schedules for your teams during this stressful time.
Unknowns increase anxiety and can waste valuable time. People who are working during this pandemic are under very strict time constraints in many cases. You can help your team as a leader by staying the course when it comes to schedules and protocols.
This is helpful because in the long run, these things promote efficiency. Even if it takes a little more time to get everyone up to speed at first, everyone achieves more when structure prevails during a crisis.
Keep the Mission in Mind
Whatever business you’re in, keep your reason for being there front and center. Employees need a focus on well-being during times of crisis, and part of that is knowing why they are there.
Reminding people that they have a purpose that matters is key to promoting a sense of calm and well-being when disease ravages an economy.
Lead with Empathy
Everyone needs a little help on the mental wellness front during scares like this. Being a strong leader doesn’t always mean playing the tough guy. Although some toughness doesn’t hurt when pandemic hits, try not to make too big a point of it.
You can model the values of your team by sharing concern for your employees. When they see how you are acting, they will know that it’s okay to care during this stressful time. The support keeps teams communicating well and working toward a common goal.
Be a Strong Communicator
Beyond being clear and consistent, you need to be one of the top communicators on your team. Don’t just give instructions and then check out while people struggle for time. Communicate more than others. Your example will help keep team members in sync with each other.