In part 1 of Leadership Skills in Time of Crisis, we looked at how, and why, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the skills required by those in management positions and explored a couple of these vital aptitudes.
Effective communication plays a vital role in overcoming uncertainty and reinforcing positivity – it can really help with motivation, consistency and a sense of community – all essential during stressful and changing times.
Similarly, decision making is another crucial skill for leadership during the pandemic. Goals must set, choices made and problems overcome. Leaders who are required to make these (sometimes) tough choices need to be confident, clear and aware of consequences.
Decisive leaders inspire confidence and give focus to their team.
In Part 2, we will go delve into different skills that those in leadership roles require during these stressful and fast changing times, to ensure they (and their team) remain focussed, motivated and efficient.
Global crisis’, and the challenges they bring, can have a significant effect on firms, their production, turnover, customer base, suppliers and employees.
However, how those in leadership respond to, and act upon these challenges, depends upon their flexibility and adaptability.
Being able to adapt when necessary, alter strategy in response to new problems or volatile conditions is a key skill for effective leaders.
Leaders can improve flexibility with the following:
• Increasing Awareness – knowledge is power, so arming yourself with as much information as possible will ensure strategies and choices have the best chance of success. Monitor variables and assess the impact of decisions
• Strategic Thinking – a change in one area often has consequences in another. Leaders must be aware of the impact of their decisions and understand the wider systems involved in their firm so that long term objectives can be achieved
• Maintaining Focus – effective, flexible leaders can maintain focus despite the changes, risks and challenges around them. Don’t get distracted by, or worry about, the problem itself – work towards the solution
• Leading by Example – reverting to prior behaviour in a stressful situation is often due to habit. Avoid this by being mindful of your behaviour, attitude and mindset whenever possible.
• Being Open – accept and welcome change for the opportunity it can provide. Resistance is futile and can jeopardize self-confidence, decision making processes, and the morale of those around us
A great leader inspires, motivates and supports those around them.
During times of crisis the capacity to support our colleagues, team members, friends and families is even more vital.
This support might be in the form of information about a particular work-based topic but it might also involve emotional support such as, reassurance, encouragement, and praise.
Having a calm, confident, compassionate demeanour is key to reducing anxiety, restoring stability and empowering others.
Tips for developing a supportive attitude include:
• Improve your Self-worth – leaders with a strong sense of self feel more able to encourage and support those around them. Be mindful of your own attitude towards others, and especially your feelings and emotions regarding particular topics. Consider unconscious bias training as this can really help you better understand yourself, and others.
• Encourage Resilience – it is great to be able to support a team, but the overall aim is to encourage resilience so individuals, and the whole team, can work more effectively. Offer help, advice and compassion but allow team members to experience failure (and the consequences) within a supportive and non-judgmental framework
• Build relationships – establish and develop positive relationships with your team to show them you care and support them, both as people and professionals. Check-in with colleagues having a hard time, give assistance to those who ask for your help, and be available whenever possible
Times of crisis can bring out the best, and the worst, in each of us, yet as leaders, it is vital to remain as reliable, flexible, and supportive as possible.
Training courses offer a great way to develop many of the aptitudes required for leaders during times of crisis and give unique insights into developing key skills.