Our global world and our individual workplaces are more highly connected than we ever imagined. Although there are extraordinary pressures being placed on us from the external world, we are facing them in our work environments. Remote working is becoming a new alternative for organizations to keep their doors open. That can mean that the way we communicate and share ideas may also need to be adjusted. In addition, with frustrating daily updates about the world around us many leaders can become anxious. It can feel like we are being bombarded with tennis ball after tennis ball in an unpredictable match.
Leaders can choose to either allow themselves to be sucked up in the global uncertainty or intentionally decide to face it with resilience. The changes in our workplaces don’t have to throw us off our game. You’ve got this if you are open and willing to pivot ever so slightly.
Five Leadership Adjustments To Survive Uncertainty
1. Change Your Attitude
During unsettling times, it is critical for leaders to begin their survival with the right attitude. If we lead by feeling the need to rush into the fire our results will reflect our urgency. What if instead we took hold of our emotions and decided that “responding” instead of “reacting” may be the better play. With an attitude that we are not alone in dealing with the uncertainty and surrounding ourselves with upbeat and wise advisers is the best approach.
An attitude shift from feeling panic to responding with control can help a leader survive uncertainty.
2. Be Clear On Your Strategy
Developing the steps to take to help a team or an organization move through turbulent waters begins with a well-thought-out plan of attack. When a half-baked proposal is presented a leader will usually be challenged relentlessly. To create a believable strategy that connects with the rest of the team or organization:
Meet with all the stakeholders to discuss the best direction forward.
Break down a bigger strategy into manageable steps.
Use language and visuals that everyone can understand.
Prepare for push back but be firm on your thought processes.
3. Over Communicate
To be impactful leaders at times of uncertainty there is no such thing as too much information or communication. Our messages must be shared with transparency, clarity and frequency. Of course there is no reason to frighten people so finding the best words and choosing the appropriate non-verbals is key. Communicate in writing and in videos. Make sure all the channels of communication including social media are utilized. It may be helpful to introduce a tagline such as, “We are a resilient organization and will bounce back even stronger.” Just be authentic in the messaging.
In times of uncertainty there is no such thing as leaders sharing too much information.
4. Carefully Plan Virtual Meetings
With many of the interactions taking place online it is imperative to plan out the meetings with great thought and purpose. This is no time for leaders to add to the confusion or create more insecurity. Lead a virtual team meeting by:
Establishing a tight agenda and disseminating it ahead of time.
Address concerns that team members may have expressed.
Be thoughtful without blaming others. Help cultivate accountability.
Build a team spirit by asking members to share some of the positives in their workplaces.
5. Leave Room For Mess-Ups
In evolving uncertain situations, a leader needs to remind their team members that mistakes will be made. In fact, if there aren’t any missteps then something is wrong. Proper evaluation of why particular steps didn’t work or fell apart is a critical piece to eventually leaping forward. Leaders need to treat stumbles as part of the learning process. Without those shortcomings it is impossible to survive with success.
What adjustments have you or your organization made when faced with uncertainty?