It undoubtedly takes a very special type of person to take the lead and guide others through troubled waters in seemingly apocalyptic times. Some of those characteristics will result from the individuals natural skills and style, that sadly all of us will not be able to replicate, but there are others that can certainly be learned.
It's definitely a first for most of the working population as to the devastating and unparalleled impact on both their working and personal life that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought them and their families and so for a leader to be able to steer individuals and teams through this will prove to be a particularly difficult experience but how will the bestleaders do this?
Many senior working professionals and leaders will have had to demonstrate their crisis management skills at some stage in their career, however those situations will have been on a significantly smaller scale than what the world is currently experiencing with the Covid-19 crisis.
Whether you are a key worker business, a business that has had to temporarily close or a business with impacted activity levels and challenges displayed, now is the time to step up and lead by example and be someone to look up to in a time of crisis.
So what are the Top Traits and Skills to have?
Here is our list.
- Positivity and Motivation
- Honesty and Transparency
Positivity and Motivation
As hard as it may sometimes be, positivity will go a long way in a time of crisis. With all the doom, gloom and negativity it's key to try to remain as positive as you can. Positivity radiates and it can encourage productivity and boost morale. Be true to yourself though, there’s not one person who won't experience low points during this pandemic and it’s not a sign or weakness to have a day where you feel flat or struggle with a positive mindset. But also, to cheer someone else up can help lighten your own mood too so think of driving positivity amongst your team. Help motivate your team whether it be in work or their personal lives, inspire and encourage.
Examples of sharing positivity can be:
- Sharing positive quotes
- Sharing success stories during the crisis
- Share funny and light-hearted content with your team
- If your team aren’t working, share with them what you are doing in the process of maintaining and recovering the business
Honesty and Transparency
Being honest and transparent are key skills of a fantastic leader at any time, but now more than ever you need to be honest with your team, this will help build your credibility and gain further trust from your employees. In a time of challenge and negativity where there are a whole range of sources where people can seek information and insights, its important to make sure you are delivering the truth and being honest with your team, even if it’s negative or emotive. Your team need to hear the ‘real’ news and outlook rather than one you or they might like to hear.
Leaders and Managers need to be accessible and approachable to provide support to their employees during this time. While in most cases face to face contact and interaction is currently limited or completely unavailable, the vast array of technology we have access to allows us to be ever present with our co-workers and team. Be supportive, be there to listen, talk and check in. Unlike most situations, now is the time where even those employees who don’t normally come to you for support may well be the ones that need it the most now.
It’s important to display a balance between positivity and optimism, with realism. Manage expectations of your team and try hard not to over or underestimate situations during this time period. The Covid-19 crisis is such an unprecedented situation one which nobody has experienced before, nor do we have specific answers, timescales or a crystal ball to tell us how things will look when we hit the recovery phase. So it’s crucial not to answer questions you don’t know the answer to and don’t try over-sell or exaggerate the situation without knowing the reality of what may become. Your team will appreciate and think more highly of you to be honest with them and deliver a realistic view on the current situation while also remaining positive and optimistic.
Final point to remember… as quoted by Rag n Bone Man “We’re only human after all…” And that’s true and key to focus on! This time is challenging for us all so don’t put too much pressure on yourself and make sure to look after yourself while looking after your team.
As Leaders you will be experiencing the highs and lows of this rollercoaster ride yourself, but also those of your team. Take time out to relax, reflect and take stock.
As cheesy as it may sound We are all in this together and we will get through to the recovery phase in time, but only if we take the appropriate steps and have the right mindset.
We hope you have found this article useful.
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