- March 24, 2020
- Posted by: Phillip Van Hooser
- Category: Employee Engagement, Employee Relations, Leadership, Managing Change, Stress Management
Encouragement for Leaders in Crisis Mode
Ideas for Navigating the COVID 19 Chaos
As a leader in your organization, your top priority must be to create some sense of order out of the chaos that COVID 19 is creating. It is an uncertain, likely overwhelming responsibility.
To encourage you — the leader — as you’re rethinking processes, redeploying resources, reassuring employees and customers, making serious decisions in real time — here are 3 ideas to help you successfully navigate these challenging days.
I love a good story — and I’m sure you will have some incredible successes to tell in the days ahead — examples that I’m sure will serve as encouragements for leaders for years to come!
Encouragement for Leaders in Crisis
Share What You Know.
One thing that serves leaders very well to know about the people they lead is this: people want information. They want information. I’ve often said the lack of information that people have can cause them to fill that void with mis- or disinformation.
In other words, in the absence of good information, they start listening to everything. Or even worse still, they start conjuring up ideas. “Well, it must be this way,” or “I’m fearful that it will be that way.” When in fact, the things we create and therefore worry about, oftentimes never happen.
Make Their Unknowns Known.
So for those of us who are in a position to be able to influence and impact others — our employees, our colleagues, our children, our family, or our friends — one thing I would recommend is this: make people’s unknowns “known.”
Figure out what they are fearful of. Figure out those things that they are struggling with, the things that are the unknowns in their life. And do everything you can to make those unknowns “known.”
Now, do not make up information. Do not guess or do not suppose and then share that as if it is fact — too much of that is going around right now.
But instead, know what you know and share what you can share. When you know something to be a fact, and someone else has it wrong, tell them, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, let me tell you know what I know and how I know it.”
Replacing uncertainty or the unknown with the known can take away the anxiety associated with it all.
Talk to & Listen to People.
The second thing I would say to you is talk to people. But more important still, is listen to them as well.
You know so many of us want to share our experience, our perspective, what’s happening to us. And we don’t want to really spend the same amount of time listening to others. That can be a problem, especially for those of us who are in leadership positions.
Your people want to share, want to vent, want to get this off their chest. And they do so by sharing it with you.
Why? Because they trust you. You’re their leader. You’re someone they look up to, someone that they have confidence in.
So be comfortable in sharing and making their unknowns known. But also be comfortable in listening to them so you have a pretty good idea of what they need to have known.
The final thing that I will say to you today is very simply this. Don’t think that you have to have an answer for every circumstance or situation.
But do realize that you need to stand with people, support people and encourage people when they don’t have an answer.
Think about it — we’re all communal beings. We love to live together. We love to work together. We love to travel together, play together, stay together, worship together. We love to be in a group.
But in these days of social distancing, where we’re supposed to keep our distance from one another for health benefits, it is more important than ever that we don’t distance ourselves emotionally from other people.
We need one another. We need to encourage one another, support and uplift one another. That’s what I’ve been trying to share with people I’ve worked with for many many years.
A Principle for Building Trust.
Why? Not because it’s a great business principle, even though I believe it is.
But because it’s a great personal principle.
It’s a way to build friends. It’s a way to build colleagues. It’s a way to build trust. It’s a way to deal with the uncertainties of life.
Yes, these days are uncertain, and from all indications, they may become even more so in the days ahead.
But the one thing I’m certain of is that together we can get through it.
Together we can make a difference.
And together, I hope, I trust, I believe, I pray, that our best days are still ahead of us.
#covid19 #havefaith #standtogether #listentoyourpeople #maketheirunknownsknown #sharewhatyoucanshare