My personal mentor and friend Marty Park joined me in an episode of Negotiations Ninja to talk about how to manage and communicate effectively in times of crisis. Many people were immediately thrust into working from home. Employees feel they are on shaky ground and find themselves uncertain of their future.
How do YOU muddle through this as a leader? How do you reassure your staff when you are experiencing the same turmoil and anxiety they are? You have to lean into your leadership role in a whole new way. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the tips and strategies Marty and I covered in the podcast episode.
Break through the panic
Even if you’re a pessimist, now is the time to embrace optimism. No one knows how the coronavirus pandemic will shake out. But historically speaking, we always find our way out of a crisis. Giving in to panic and hysteria will not help the current situation. As a leader, you must learn to see through the noise and the panic and manage through the chaos.
Reassure your team that you still have an ongoing plan for the business and that you are focused and hopeful. Become their temporary safe space in the midst of the chaos. Remind that that you are still moving forward and making the most of the opportunities available.
Remember to be compassionate
Douglas MacArthur—an American general—famously stated: “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others”.
The ability to be compassionate and listen to the needs of others speaks volumes about good leadership. When everything is going wrong is when the real leaders step up. Marty challenges you to raise your voice, think about your message, and bring it to the people around you. It will involve stepping outside of your comfort zone. Be the person that rises to the occasion.
Lead with the integrity of your intent
The rest of Douglas MacArthur’s quote goes on to say “He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” In a leadership role or not, this is your opportunity to be a proactive voice of leadership. If you ‘lead with the integrity of your intent’ you will gain respect.
How can you be present for your employees? How can you lend a listening ear? What can you do to help them be hopeful instead of fearful? Your people need to know that you’ve got them. Now is the time to lead with intention and listen with compassion. Become the person that you need to be during this difficult time in our history.
To learn more about being an effective leader in times of crisis, listen to this episode of Negotiations Ninja with Marty Park. He talks about communicating with employees and clients in times of crisis, how to become a more effective leader and ways to maximize your productivity now—and in the future.