Turbulence have struck all around the world, as offices are closing down and many people are asked to work from home -with the spread of the Corona Virus. How can you as a Leader, lead your team during these turbulent times?
How can you create calm during the storm? How can you empower your team and help them still see the value in their work, while they are stressing about what they should do with their children?
Some of your team’s natural response when listening to the news, or the waves of Social media could be to access: Fight and flight mode-the Reptilian brain. This brain was ideal for when you were attacked by a Lion or a bear, so that you could fight back or flee. The reptilian brain is constantly scanning the environment for potential threats. When we remain in this state of mind, we are reactive and do and say things that we will later regret.
As a leader, you want to operate from your Neo-Cortex, the Rational brain. Where you can do complex problem solving, where you can resolve issues, and see various perspectives. But we can’t access it immediately we first access our Mammal brain, our emotions.
But you as a leader want to rewire your brain, and allow your team to operate with Emotional Intelligence, so they are not just run by fear or by their emotions.
How to get your team out of fight and flight mode? How to lead during turbulent times
Remain calm by having discipline
During most crisis situations where an entire group of people managed to survive, like the 33 Chilean Miners that survived underground for 70 days, the leader remained calm.
Emotional Intelligence is about being self-aware noticing when your thoughts are turning negative, and turning them around to notice possibility.
As a leader you need to be very self-aware, because your team will need to hear your calm during the storm. Plan your meals, ensure that you are hydrated. Make sure that you get exercise and take breaks if working from home.
In the same way as you calm a child or a baby down, by having a set routine, this will calm down your staff. Have set meeting times during the week. Allow specific check in times. Guide your staff to plan their week and their day, to block out specific timelines for certain tasks. Encourage them to be productive and have feedback meetings around clear deadlines and deliverables. Make them feel valuable and have empathy for the situation.
Have a plan
Meet up with your management team online and decide how your company will operate in the next few weeks and months. Review what is happening in your country-and find ways of allowing your staff to work remotely. Review various scenarios and come up with plans should any of your staff contract the virus. Decide what support your company can provide. Decide on clear outcomes for your business, and see if there could be opportunities that arise because of the remote working conditions.
Get in contact with your teams so they know exactly how you will be operating as a company. Arrange huddles where your team can share over Zoom how they are feeling at the moment. In stead of having face to face meetings, arranging those over Zoom. Schedule meetings with your clients online and even share videos with your clients with updates.
Alone time to think and strategize
Are there problems that keep on popping up at business? Are there constant fires that you are always extinguishing? Could you put a challenge out to your team to all come up with ideas and solutions to tackle those?
Could this social distancing time, allow your team time to think and come up with amazing innovative ideas?
We at Y-Connect are here for you, if you need a Leadership check-in, EQ Coaching or training for your teams, this can all be done over Zoom.
Many leaders have faced far worse conditions than you are possibly facing now. Tap into their collective wisdom and realise you do have power of choice. The choice to remain calm, the choice to empower your people and to move forward.