Being a leader in one of the world’s biggest crises is a tough challenge. Nadja Chaieb, HR Expert and Executive Coach at Made for More gives us her leadership lessons from 2020 on how managers can act, build trust and lead their teams successfully.
In crisis, we need leaders with solid ground. Leaders that can manage their own and others’ stress, pay attention to signals and act in solidarity and caring about others. Compassion is needed more than ever. In a recent survey from Gallup stated that Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) of 100 of the world’s largest organisations concluded that the common needs leaders must provide employees with in this challenging period are trust, compassion, stability and hope.
The challenge is how to deliver these four factors to workers when you’re physically separated from your teams. Your leadership can be truly tested if you allow remote working to evolve into your people simply feeling and being remote. Leading successfully remote teams in a digitalised world demands human centric leaders, here are 5 ways for leaders to step up their game:
Take decisions and act fast
One of the main challenges of being a leader in a crisis is to dare to make decisions on unclear grounds. What all leaders need to keep in mind is to document the basis on which decisions have been made. It can go wrong when it goes too fast, but it is important to always be transparent with your starting point. Studies shows, that this is when understanding and tolerance for mistakes increases. Dare to boldly make a wrong decision with a transparent basis, instead of remaining cowardly by not doing so.
Communicate – keep up the moral
As a leader in crisis it is important to transmit hope and a positive vision of the future. Working remotely the digital technology tools becomes a must to keep up the regular meetings and check-ins with your teams. People need the interaction with colleagues as well as the motivation and energy that it brings. Leaders need to give alternatives to the coffee machine chat; social distancing does not have to mean social disconnection. Seeing and hearing your team members and by cultivating their sense of belonging, are the simplest ways to exhibit Human Centric Leadership.
Involve your teams – build trust
Employee trust helps organisations to become Human Centric. This trust is built by transparent and honest communication and regular feedback from leaders. Involve them by asking about their input and act on it.
Share the vision with them, get them involved, gain their buy-in and build the trust. When the team members have bought in ideas, they will go that extra mile. Leadership is about having influence with others and human centric leadership is about connecting to your people. When you do, your people will exceed expectations.
Be flexible and do not bounce back
Find new ways of doing things and new solutions. Talk to your team and to your customers and listen to their feedback. Be flexible because you want to be the last person standing and more important is to not bounce back. It is to bounce forward. Most people wait for the storm to pass, to then go back to the way they did everything before. What you instead want to do is to take the opportunities, the new mindset, the new thinking and the new solutions and think how to do things better. How can we bounce forward to a new better way of doing things, instead of bouncing back to the old way of doing things?
Keep the vision and the dream alive
A vision is a practical guide for creating plans, setting goals and making decisions. During a crisis the vision might seem blurry, but by having a well communicated vision, strengthen the sense of purpose and direction for people. It inspires individuals and organizations to commit, to persist and to give their best. Therefor it is important to continue to communicate and connect your projects to your vision, even more during crisis. It will help you to create that energy and will to make change happen.