As the Coronavirus crisis continues, and in some places gets worse, it’s hard not to feel a bit disenfranchised. We’re upset that our business life has been upended, our environment ripped away from us, and our teams scattered. We keep hearing people tell us, “You are not alone.” But it can sure seem that way, right? Well, imagine how your direct reports feel. Start leading them again!
Everything Has Changed…Except Your Job
The only way your team will adapt and function in this next normal is if you do. That’s leadership. And it’s what they need now, perhaps more than ever. Are your actions leading them towards the goals you set before the pandemic (or the ones you’ve reset during it)? Remember, your job hasn’t changed…just how you do it has. Working from home? OK, so are a lot of people. Getting used to using technology like Zoom or Teams to communicate with clients and your teams? Right…welcome aboard. We’re all doing that. Learning as you go about how to move things forward when everything isn’t as it has been? Yes, that is the challenge we are all facing.
Remain optimistic and connected
You’ve got to over-communicate now. No direct report should attend a meeting without being seen and heard. What’s at stake here is their self-actualization and experiencing their participation as additive. Check-in with your directs at least once a week, asking them if they’re okay and what they want to achieve in their business efforts the next week that you can support.
Make time for them. And come from your heart, not your head. Don’t miss out on developing your directs by being so intensely focused on business development. If they aren’t being as successful as you’d like, find out why first before you start offering advice. As I’ve said many times when dealing with clients, “stay in the pain.” This applies to your teams, too. Get in there with them, understand their challenges, and empathize with how things have been disrupted for them, too. From there, you can start to map out a plan that gets them back on track. Remain optimistic for them, even if they don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. And most of all, stay connected. By listening to your team you make them valuable.
One last thing…it’s important to recognize and be grateful for the fact that you and your organization can retain your team right now. Many organizations can’t. Don’t take that for granted. You’ll be thankful you still have your team when things return to “normal.”