Crisis often accompanies change. How do you help your team through change? DATIS’ article from SmarTribes Institute, How To Lead And Empower Your Team Through A Crisis, gives us a list:
- Be present. Let people express their emotions- make it safe for them to say what’s really going on for them. Their voice matters.
- Be connected. State that you’re here for them, you’re in this together, you’ll move through it together, everyone belongs together.
- Explain meaning making. Make it less stressful by what you say. Creating meaning gives your team members an impetus to do their best to fulfill a common goal.
- Look forward to a positive future. Talk about how everyone would like to feel once the grieving is over, lessening the pain.
- Forge a path together.
Doing the above increases your ability to help your team. Here are three more ways to increase in effectiveness:
- Focus- stay on track, do not get sidetracked with irrelevancies.
- Be Clear- being truly clear means taking the time to discover what we need, articulating it clearly, and being sure the other party understood our communication.
- Accountability- it starts at the top. Take responsibility for mistakes.
Disconnects across racial and gender boundaries have come to a fore in recent times. Systemic issues becoming more apparent on a daily basis while workplaces further efforts to diversity. Managers are in a unique position to address problems before they occur and act as mediators when they arise. Tommy Lee Hayes-Brown provides ten tips to the manager attempting to bridge the gap between disparate groups of employees.
- Start with yourself. The first step in preparing to recognize the viewpoints of other is recognizing your own preconceptions. This sort of self-reflection acts as a valuable tool when identifying the attitudes of others.
- Step up diversity recognition plans. Disparate groups need to feel valued more than ever. Pushing diversity recognition plans can go a long way toward making them feel more welcome.
- Let employees act as diversity recognition drivers. No one likes to be force-fed, especially from the top-down. Encouraging employees to take charge gives diversity recognition plans more clout among their coworkers.
- Let employees come to you with personal issues. Everyone has a different set of life circumstances. Assume nothing.
- Communicate the resources available to employees. Many employees will not be aware of the company-provided resources available to them.
- Learn what to say (and not to say). Many words of little meaning to you might carry great baggage among other groups. Brush up on hot-button issues and the best ways to address them.
- Apologize if you make a mistake. Make the apology meaningful- it goes a long way toward building trust.
- Shy away from political discussions. Many people are highly passionate about politics, and discussions of this nature have the potential to quickly turn south. Let your employees know you do not condone political discussions at work.
- Don’t forget about white males. Diversity recognition should include everyone- to do otherwise can leave groups feeling disenfranchised.
Find Tommy Lee Hayes-Brown on his website.
Peter Economy maintains that there are some things leaders simply shouldn’t do. The following are traits that “loudly signal a leader’s lack of competence over all the others”:
- Lack of Accountability. “Even though we expect certain levels of irresponsibility from employees and team members, leaders are definitely held to a different, higher standard. They are expected to maintain and uphold the policies and deadlines they set for others.”
- Indecisiveness. “Although a certain amount of indecisiveness is natural — especially while a leader is gathering the facts of a situation – too much of it can encourage employees to be equally uncertain of their purpose in the company. Leaders need to make it clear what they stand for, why they do what they do, and where they hope to go.
- Maintaining a Cold Exterior. “While yes, it’s important to maintain a confident and resolute exterior presence as a leader, it’s equally as important to demonstrate that you are able to empathize with those on your team. The capacity to understand where your team members, employees, and fellow coworkers are coming from transforms you from being a subpar leader to one that understands the nuances of a healthy work-life balance.”
- Self-consciousness. “When leaders are naturally charismatic, charming, and able to sway those they work with, people more readily believe in them. Unapologetically owning who you are and what you do is a trait that shines through the most qualified of leaders.”
- A Lack of Positivity. Negative feelings about the future quickly carry over to members of the team.
- Being Easily Distracted. “A lack of focus reads very clearly in a leader’s organization or planning.
Find Peter: Twitter
Americans are are fairly average when it comes to hours worked during the week. Why then do we seem the most stressed of all? Lauren Steed hypothesizes that “It might have something to do with the unofficial hours worked due to the advances and freedoms of technology. In a world where employees are always available, it can feel as if there’s no disconnection between personal and professional life anymore.” How can you help your company feel less stressed and create more of a balance between work and life?
- Make sure management is promoting the right image. “Each employee has a different work style. But some managers may be workhorses. And guess who’s setting the expectations and culture for the workplace? Your managers — and not every employee can match a feverish pace set by a manager without risking burnout. Solution: Consider having managers promote more short breaks throughout the work day.”
- Draw a hard line on work hours. “Especially with the shift in overtime rules coming December 1, now’s as good a time as any to take a hard-line stand on how many hours employees can work in a week.”
- Offer flexible scheduling or a work-from-home option.
- Promote vacation time.
- Allow kid or pet visit days.
- Ban tech from face-to-face meetings or corporate outings. “The idea behind office lunches or personal meetings is to connect with co-workers, not check email or take phone calls. Sometimes emergencies do spring up, but chances are it’s going to do more good to completely disconnect from the digital world.”
- Remind people hours aren’t a competition. “Promote quality over quantity.”
- Allow specific time off to contribute to a charity. “Giving people some time off or incentives to go out and pursue a cause they find meaningful boosts their sense of fulfillment. The fact that your company will back employees looking to volunteer also boosts its image and propels it into the spotlight when trying to attract top talent.”
- Help employees accomplish their everyday tasks.
- Educate employees.
One of the biggest ways to gain trust in leadership positions is to stop sending mixed messages, says Michelle Reina. How are you sending mixed messages? Reina lists the five most common mixed messages:
- Asking for innovation yet punishing mistakes. Innovation can’t happen without mistakes- be okay with that.
- Delegating then micromanaging. If you delegated it, let them work through it.
- Inadequately resourcing projects.
- Underutilizing your people. “When they’re hired, people expect and want to be used. For their skills and expertise to be leveraged in service to the company’s mission. Yet, too often, people aren’t fully leveraged. They’re left out of the loop on key decisions. Being made to feel like they’re standing on the sidelines makes people disengage. Nobody likes to be left out.”
- Seeking input then not valuing the guidance you get. Acting on people’s advice builds trust.
Find Michelle: Twitter