Learn all the tips and tricks to lead a team!
We live in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and change; fast-moving changes are faced by organizations and teams like never before. You are facing new challenges as a leader, re-prioritizing needs, and balancing the burden of managing your team through everything. This phase of emotion can feel personal and overwhelming. It is important to learn to understand the human process, which will help you control your emotions and find ways to remain healthy, centred, and productive.
First, it’s important to remember that even though you’re a leader, you’re a human, too. We must understand that for some time now, everyone has been experiencing a sense of confusion and anxiety. In this global turn, whether you are trying to help your team, family, colleagues, neighbours, or someone else, know that we are all united in this.
Secondly, during this period, the workers have been and will continue to feel, a variety of emotions. You can better help them both emotionally and physically by learning to understand and describe what they are feeling.
And finally, you play a part as a leader in helping your teams deal with this time of confusion and work through it. Before you can help them cope and adapt, it is important to understand where your team is. In supporting your teams during this time of transition, your support and leadership can be a significant signal.
It’s not the transformation itself, but the process of adapting to the transition that can be emotional. Learning to consider your team’s emotional and psychological perspectives will help you make the right changes to drive them through this time of uncertainty. The following model is a way of recognizing the emotional phase, and the things you can do to assist them through this as a leader.
Not every person will travel at the same speed through these phases. Some may have already achieved a sense of commitment or acceptance, while others may still be struggling or may still be in a state of flux with the feeling of loss.
Organizations most likely to thrive in this unpredictable future need to be resilient, able to overcome resistance to high levels of complexity and transition, prepared to capture new opportunities, embrace new and improved concepts, and build and integrate various beliefs, attitudes, norms, and behaviours. By resolving the related shock, resistance, confusion, and potential tension associated with continuing instability and transition, leaders need to improve their levels of contact to reduce concerns and anxiety; their goal is to shift team members along the change curve towards the more desired reactions of problem-solving, acceptance.
In times of instability and transition, effective leaders and organizations seem to be able to accept change as an opportunity to develop a new vision and plan, to strengthen processes, to search for new opportunities, to find areas for greater profitability, to see change as an opportunity to learn and evolve. These leaders and businesses will also defy the trend and see improved efficiency, the enhanced commitment of workers, with a renewed sense of pride and ownership.
One of the ways to overcome the fear of an uncertain future and the possible negative consequences of change is to raise engagement levels dramatically, with daily updates on development, while seeking input from team members at the same time. To continue to empower and encourage their employees, create corporate unity and a cohesive community with values such as integrity and confidence being demonstrated, business leaders, need to display authority and trust in identifying new paths with concrete goals.
Leaders should strive to display excitement and positivity to tackle confusion and transition, adapt their leadership style to become more ‘commanding’ and ‘pacesetting’ in the terms of Daniel Goleman, to reduce anxiety, provide clear guidance, push and introduce required improvements, inspire teams, and build some short-term stability. Younger team members, in particular, frequently ask for leadership.
Managers should strive to clarify solutions and encourage team members to solve challenges with any transition, such as organizational restructuring. More clarification on their roles and responsibilities will now be needed for individuals employed globally or in virtual teams. Short-term plans and priorities should be set to keep teams active, fostering a sense of urgency as well as calling for patience before the future becomes clearer. To survive economic and political instability and strive to accept more changes, business leaders are being pushed to become ever more strategic, seize the initiative, and be highly creative.
In times of transition, 6 critical leadership habits:
To advocate the reform at hand, leaders need to be present. They may not always be enamoured by what needs to be done, but they need to demonstrate willingness and energy, or else the cracks will begin to show. In short, for the sake of the organization and the broader team, leaders need to champion progress.
Leaders need to shape the actions and attitudes that are expected of others, beyond simply promoting change. The new cultural signs need to start with the leadership board in times of cultural change, for example, and then trickle down. The desired shift simply won’t take root if workers don’t see their seniors acting as they’re being asked to.
During periods of confusion, workers will look to supervisors as decision-makers. What is remote work going to look like for your company? What’s your message to customers? Or, more specifically, what does this transition look like for you every day?
If leaders exhibit consistency, authority, and decisiveness during periods of turmoil, these qualities will rub off on those around them. This is the ‘anchoring’ side of change management.
During times of insecurity and transition, verbal affirmation is extremely important. Leaders have a rare opportunity in their companies to be the face of change, and sometimes emails just won’t do the trick. If you are concerned that members of the team are worried, then talk face-to-face to them.
This could be via video conference, or whatever’s possible in person. All that matters is that accountability, continuity, and assurance of what will happen can be heard by workers.
Also Read, How to keep adapting to changing workplace
This leads to ‘modelling,’ and teams need to consider why change is at-foot, and what they are seeking to gain from it.
Sometimes, with any kind of transition, with some opposition, new ways of working are encountered. Leaders need to be empathetic and understanding on these occasions, listening to the concerns and hesitations of people, while also displaying enthusiasm and energy for the project.