As the current global climate presents great fear, the need for LEADERS is even more necessary than ever before. Ensuring your psychological wellbeing is maintained, if not enhanced during this time, is paramount to your leadership effectiveness!
We have summarised Four Wellbeing Tips for all you Leaders, to help you lead in the best way possible through these unprecedented times.
1. Focus on what you can Control
With daily changes and the spiralling impact of the global pandemic, many of you find yourselves having to make decisions and lead your tribe in extremely uncertain, emotionally and financially unstable times. You may believe and feel that there are more things ‘out of your control’ than in your control or influence at this moment. This can lead to increased anxiety and stress which can impact your decision making, the support you can offer to others and your speed of effective responsiveness.
We encourage you to focus on your sphere of control, by starting to focus on your own wellbeing and mindset.
What are you currently doing to help your mind remain calm, focused and primed to take action or make balanced decisions when required?
What have you identified as being currently ‘in your’ sphere of control?
How do you intend to nurture the things in your current sphere of control?
2. Lead with Integrity
During these times, its hugely important for you to make decisions that are right for the organisation and protect its interests. To do this, you may need to balance the needs and wants of many, some with conflicting views and opinions. You may find yourself being the lone voice as you demonstrate a strong sense of what is right and a drive to do what is needed, rather than what is easy or expected. Now is the time to lead with a strong moral compass, sticking true to the values that you believe will be the best outcome for the long term, rather than securing short term wins. We encourage you to be as open and honest with your teams, as your team need a leader they can trust and put their faith into, especially as you will be looked upon for direction, guidance and decision making. You also need to be truthful to yourself and recognise when you may be feeling out of your depth, or need extra support, without carrying the fear of being judged or not being able to cope.
To assist you to continue Leading with Integrity along the ‘tight rope’, consider the following questions:
To what extent are you prepared to do things differently than before, even if it seems harder to do or takes longer to complete?
Do you give yourself some time to think and reflect on how you are coping and feeling with the responsibility of leading through these times?
How would you like to reflect on how you have led others during these times, once we are six months through it?
3. Purposeful Compassion
To lead others with compassion, first and foremost means that you also need to show compassion to yourself too. The conversations, decisions, trade-offs you are having to make now, are more likely not ones you would have chosen, if circumstances were not as they are. Recognising and acknowledging the difficulty of what you are having to do, is showing yourself compassion. Showing up and engaging as a leader who is able to treat each and every member of the team as a ‘person’ and not as a ‘headcount’ is critical. Today’s phenomena maybe measured by the number of deaths or confirmed cases, but each and every member of your team has a world of their own, and will need to feel their leader at least recognises this and is empathetic to their situation, even if this still means little more can be done to support them in maintaining their employment as it was previously.
To enable you to operate in a Purposeful Compassionate way, consider the following:
What enables you to demonstrate a genuine sense of compassion for yourself and others?
In what ways are you wanting to deepen your levels of compassion for yourself and others?
Despite having to make decisions that feel somewhat reactive and less planned than normal, how are you able to tailor the ways in which you connect with each of your team members in a purposeful and meaningful way?
4. Establishing Boundaries
Whilst we appreciate that you can’t underestimate the importance for making yourself available and accessible for your team during these times, it is important to establish some boundaries of contact. As most of us are working from home, most people are technically ‘more available’ to be contacted at any time. Therefore there can be an expectation for 24/7 availability too, as the lines between professional and home-lives become more blurred. Nevertheless, this can expose you to working much longer hours and reducing any ‘down time’ or ‘you time’ that perhaps you had previously during your travel time to and from work. Sustained and prolonged effects of ‘not switching’ off physically and mentally can be very taxing on all dimensions of your life, so it is worth thinking about how you can begin to establish and embed some boundaries of ‘availability’ and communicating these more widely to your team now that most people have had several weeks of working from home.
We encourage you to consider the following to help formulate and develop your strategies around establishing boundaries in today’s context:
Have you been able to establish a routine or schedule your availability to others, taking into account any home commits you may have, now you are working from home?
What expectations do you set for yourself and for your team in how frequently they should check in with you and update you during these times?
What has and has not worked well for you in establishing these boundaries and what pivots could you make?
Keep on doing a great job – leading through these uniquely difficult times is not easy. By thinking about how you want to be remembered by your staff and teams during these times, take an extra effort to consider the questions above. I would love to hear your reflections on this blog and your experiences so far - feel free to drop me a message.