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In the midst of a health crisis, leadership during a pandemic can be challenging to say the least. Leaders are challenged with keeping our teams safe from a virus. Additionally, this challenge is compounded with extreme social and political unrest in the U.S. How are others leading their teams when faced with working long hours as an essential business? Or, perhaps while working remotely and unable to meet face to face? Here, Forbes has explained the top five challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic. With that being said, we’d like to offer up additional ways to work around some of these situations. Perhaps, these challenges can be opportunities for success!
So, you need to keep the team moving forward during difficult times? Motivating others during crises can be tricky. Your rah-rah’s could be perceived as insensitivity and pushiness. Try connecting to your message with the team’s individual values and concerns. Emotionally appealing to your team shows them that you care. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, “Emotional influencing tactics connect the communication or decision to a person’s feelings of well-being or sense of belonging. The leader’s persuasion skills appeal to attitudes, values, a common purpose, ideals, and beliefs through inspiration or enthusiasm.”
Bottom line: Your team’s individual, human experiences are your first priority. Then, other aspects of communication will better fall into place.
Dartmouth Professor of Corporate Communication, Paul Argenti says, “Uncertainty triggers fear. People are freaking out and wondering, ‘What does this mean for my company, my job, and my future?’ Your role as a manager is to project confidence and strength.”
Now, keep in mind that stressful times coupled with working from home can potentially impact motivation. Decreased drive and energy is more likely an issue when teams are forced to work remotely. With that being said, leaders must identify what it is that motivates individual team players and home in on that.
For example, If a person likes collaborating with others, then frequently connecting on video chat or organizing a socially distanced brainstorm session may be key. Others may feed off of visibility and when their work is not recognized before the team, their sense of purpose could dwindle. Find ways to keep your team in the know on what everyone has accomplished. Project management software like Trello used with Slack can assist leaders with this. Additionally, ramp up email bulletins and updates.
Any way you look at it, inspiring others during a world-wide health crisis is the true test of leadership. Every member of your team is a unique and integral part of the company achieving success. It’s important to remember that one leadership strategy does not fit all. And finally, a leader must listen, observe, and approach with care. There are many resources on leadership during a pandemic, including the sources listed above! Above all, stay safe, from APPSPIRE.me!
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