Leaders are expected to have all the answers.
With the uncertainty of what the future holds in every aspect of normal people’s daily lives, puts immense pressure on them as employees and also on the business leaders. One wrong decision, miscommunication or problem-solving issue, can have extremely devastating results. Leaders are expected to have all the answers. We can learn 3 leadership lessons from the pandemic:
1. Never say or look like you DON’T have answers.
If you as a leader look unsure, like you don’t have the answers; or if you simply stick your head in the sand; or even if you downplay the threats, you are bound to make your followers anxious. Fear can sink your business and it can cause the workforce to panic. This is the last thing any leader wants to deal with during a crisis situation. Leaders can work and communicate better with employees that are calm and rational. That is why it is so important for leaders to lead the way. Evaluate the problems and come up with the correct solutions. Leaders are expected to take hard decisions during this time and to follow through. Remember that having direction is better than no direction at all.
2. Leading with EQ remains your strongest weapon.
Leaders are expected to act interactively in an urgent and honest way, but still have empathy with their subordinates. Everyone is dealing with their own issues. People want to feel that their feelings are valid. Leaders should put themselves in their employees’ shoes and view their concerns from their perspective. The decisions leaders take might be right, but it doesn’t mean their employees needs and opinions are wrong just because leaders have not seen life from their employee’s position. If you do this, solutions to problems will be sincere and from the heart. Mistakes are inevitable but it is vital not to play the blame-game, especially now.
3. Always focus on the positive and communicate with motivation.
Employees need regular, honest and transparent communication. When they don’t hear anything from their leaders, they expect a bomb will drop anytime. This will cause stress, fear and anxiety. Furthermore, employees who go without connecting with their leaders and co-workers for a long time, feel left out, abandoned and will lose focus. Make sure there are a lot of remote interaction sessions between you as the leader with one-on-one interactions, as well as between your team members as a group. Release their tension by using the healing power of laughter and keep focussing on the positives. Motivate your team members through regular communication efforts to look after their mental wellbeing.
The year 2020 will be recorded in history as the year a global pandemic changed the way we work, live, and interact. People are looking to leaders to guide the way during these strange and uncertain times. They are observing leadership styles and cross checking leadership qualities. Make sure you as a leader are equipped with the essential skills needed to ensure business survival.