The current pandemic has created uncertainty and ambiguity across the globe. For leaders, it is time to rethink how we lead and influence others to stay positive and focused. How can leaders reduce stress and anxiety, while at the same time provide a layer of support, courage, and unity?
Strong leadership, using integrative and collaborative communication is essential. Integrative and collaborative leadership means that everyone has a place at the table, and that the input of every member of the team is respected. This method creates synergy, which translates into profits for stakeholders. It ensures that both teams and stakeholders are engaged, encouraged, and focused.
A leader’s communication throughout and after COVID-19 will impact the ability of the company, its staff and community leaders to perform at their highest levels.
Below are few best practices that can help leaders navigate your teams in these uncertain times:
- Be Honest and Consistent:
When a team member or stakeholder asks you a question, give them an honest answer. Don’t defocus or provide a vague response. Honesty creates trust and an environment for the team to feel safe. In addition, be consistent in all your actions and communication dialogue: consistency depicts predictability and reputation.
- Appreciate and acknowledge the team:
Take the time to recognize the team and acknowledge them for their efforts. Appreciate group, as well as individual efforts; most importantly, personalize your message to make each member feel valued. Periodically recognizing small acts and behaviors creates an environment of appreciation and high-performance culture
- Be flexible and emphatic:
In these times of crisis, your team members may lack motivation due to stress. Leaders must communicate with empathy as well as a supportive mindset to jointly face the current situation. Your actions must exude core values and support.
- Create a supportive environment to encourage team health and wellness:
Emotional support involves letting your team know that they are being cared for and that they should feel comfortable discussing work and nonwork-related issues. A good leader communicates and provides a supportive environment to encourage good health and employee wellness and recognizes that some members may have families and friends who may require additional attention and care. Healthy employees will always remain happy and loyal to their leader and to their organization.
A leader’s influence can change the dynamic of a team.
Leaders can influence how people interpret and react to situations. If leaders fail to communicate, it creates an environment of mistrust, ambiguity and may lead to spread of rumors that can damage the reputation of the company and the leader.
In times of uncertainty, strong leadership through integrative and collaborative communication helps to minimize distractions, creates bonding with the staff and members, and most importantly, keeps everyone focused in a safe environment. Your team will know that you genuinely care, and communication helps build a strong connection with them on multiple levels.
Times of uncertainty will always reveal your leadership maturity. Keeping your team engaged through constant, clear communication often conveys to them that a consistent and confident Leader is there to help them navigate through rough waters.
About the Author:
Margarita Estrada, DTM, is an author and former panic attack sufferer turned energetic, dynamic speaker who knows how to inspire an audience and never let them go. Known as The Well-Connected Writer©, she is a skilled storyteller and wordsmith who authored and published the bi-lingual memoir, Vignettes of a Family Journey, to create awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, and its effects on the family. Margarita is the chair of OMNI-PRO Speakers Bureau, sponsored by District 83 Toastmasters, and is a member of Impact 21 Toastmasters in Rahway, NJ and Dining to Speak Toastmasters, in Fairfield, NJ.