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How to Lead People Through Tough Times

How to Lead People Through Tough Times

How to Lead People Through Tough Times

It's clear that all organisations face tough times, particularly reactively as a result of COVID-19. As a leader and manager of a team, it's essential that you're able to motivate your team, effectively resolve challenges, not just to survive, but to thrive.

We've put together our key insights for managers to help lead your team through uncertain times:

  1. Don't let fear infect minds
  2. Keep your language positive: A better future is coming
  3. Assess the goal and decide whether it must change
  4. Assess the plan and determine how the plan must change
  5. Communicate the new goal and the new plan, often and well
  6. Make rational decisions based upon a logical evaluation of all the available evidence
  7. Make steady progress

1. Don't let fear infect minds.

Fear is a negative motivator. When people are afraid, they don't think rationally and they become hesitant and doubtful. These are NOT the qualities that will help improve the situation. Leaders should eliminate fear from their own mind and from the minds of others. How do we eliminate fear?
We control our language. We ensure that we keep language positive.

2. Keep your language positive: A better future is coming.

Fear is based upon a belief that the future will be worse than the present. Optimism is based upon the belief that the future will be better.

To replace fear with optimism, talk about the future being better than the present. Find reasons to justify the claim that the present difficulties are temporary, and that the big picture is still bright and optimistic.

This language will make you and everyone else feel stronger. This is the language of leadership. This is explained further within our conflict management training.

3. Assess the goal and decide whether the team's goal must change.

The change in circumstances may necessitate a change in the organisation's priorities. The goal to expand may be replaced by a goal to contract.

If the goal needs to change within your team setting, then make the decision and change it.

4. Assess the plan and determine how the plan must change.

Any major change in circumstances and/or goal will necessitate a corresponding change in the plan.

As a leader, it's important to assemble the team, make the necessary decisions and communicate the new plans across the team to achieve the new agreed goal.

5. Communicate the new goal and new plan, clearly and often.

Whatever changes the leaders make, should be communicated clearly to the rest of the organisation.

Failure to communicate the goal and the plan with your team, will create an information void in the minds of employees. This void will be quickly filled by speculation, fear mongering and guesswork.

Leaders must NOT permit speculation, fear mongering and guesswork to become dominant in the organisation. The way to prevent that is to communicate clearly and often.

6. Make rational decisions based upon a logical evaluation of all the available evidence.

Leaders are paid to make decisions. Ideally, they should make the right decisions. Wrong decisions are irrational, impulsive, or are made out of emotional knee-jerk reactions.

Right decisions come as a result of logical evaluations of all the available evidence.

Leaders must think and act logically, rationally: not emotionally, based on fear, panic or guesswork.

7. Make steady progress.

Life on Earth is governed by the laws of evolution. Evolution is based upon the principle of making progress by means of continually adapting to changing environments. Evolutionary change is slow, persistent, progressive and never ending. It is relentless adjustment, but invariably in the direction of life, productivity and growth.

Business is governed by the same set of evolutionary laws. We adapt, change and modify our actions to take into account the negative change in circumstance. But we continue with a commitment to work towards our goals by means of productive effort, rationally organised, in the pursuance of growth.

If you're seeking to develop skills in your leadership team or personally excel as manager, discover our Leadership and Management training course and contact the team of experienced leaders to find out further information .

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