Wow, whoever thought a virus could so drastically disrupt the marketplace? Businesses have shut down; social distancing has become the norm, and it has us all wondering when if ever things are supposed to return to normal and what is normal going to look like now?
The COVID virus seemed like the biggest threat we were facing. Now we add political unrest, the partisan divide, and the continuous anxiety and fear so many in our society are feeling as the virus and social tensions continue to rage. For many of us, these are the most challenging times we have ever faced in our society. It is enough to make you believe that success and happiness are not possible. There is too much disruption, too many obstacles, and too much change happening way too fast.
But nothing could be further than the truth. There is so much opportunity in the marketplace. But we need to be mentally fit and prepared to take action if we want to take advantage of it. The fastest way for our organizations and our teams to heal is by moving forward and building resilience needed to come out successful on the other side.
As leaders, that is your job right now. To dig deep, show up, and help your team develop the skills and strategies they need to care for themselves, push through the challenges, and build resilience.
When this crisis started, I did an informal poll of my clients and my social media followers. Simply asking the questions: When uncertainty hits, are you someone who runs to the sound of the gunfire and takes action? Or do you sit back and take more of a wait and see approach? More than 74% of responders said they take a wait and see approach. Many of them were sharing they were unsure of what to do or how to move forward.
Again, as leaders, this is where you come in. Creating a sense of calm for your team, and more importantly, helping them find the path forward, cope with the stress they are feeling, and build the inner strength they need to bounce back and push through the challenges.
Six Strategies to Build A More Resilient Organization
1.Transparency and Communication:
Sharing information often is key to helping employees build resilience. In uncertain times, your team wants to know the facts and the reality of what is happening. Lack of information will have them creating their own stories and ideas of what the future looks like. Lack of transparent information will create distrust. As a leader, you need to communicate often with your team and across different platforms. It would be best if you were open and honest with them, sharing what you feel is going well, what you are worried about, and where you feel the company and team’s priorities are successful.
2. Purpose and Vision:
One reason people get stuck when faced with challenges is they can’t see past the obstacles. As a leader, you need to paint the picture of what is possible and give them a reason to continue to push through the challenging times. Your team wants to do work that matters, they want to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, and they want to know their hard work will result in something. As a leader, you provide that by continuously sharing the purpose and vision.
Once your team understands where they are headed and how you plan to get the company through this crisis, they want to help you get there. One of the biggest challenges of uncertainty is feeling out of control. As a leader, you give your team back that control by giving them ownership and skin in the game. In other words, you determine “what” direction you are headed, but you ask your team “how” to get there. When you ask them how, you simultaneously give them voice, responsibility and give them back a sense of control.
4. Condition for Change
In a world where things keep changing, and obstacles keep emerging, you need a team that can adapt easily and quickly. To build a team like that, you need to condition your team for change. Get them in shape, accustomed to, and thinking about change before change even happens. Change can be your greatest opportunity if you see it coming; if you ignore it, change will bury you.
5. Create Connection:
In times of crisis and extreme change; it can be all hands-on deck and work first. It is all understandable, but if you want your team to be strong and be engaged, you need to give them the time to connect. The time to build relationships makes them feel they are part of a team, that they belong and that they are working together and alongside others to move through the challenges.
6. Rinse and Repeat:
Building a more resilient organization is not something you do and check it off your to-do list. No, you need to go back through these strategies repeatedly and understand the stronger team you build, the more successful your organization will be.
The truth is we have just come through one of the most challenging years of our lives, and there are probably even more challenges that we must face in 2021. But you have only to look down through history to see that out of uncertainty comes some of our greatest success stories. Your role as a leader is critical right now. Step to the plate, help your team build the skills they need, and you will see all of this uncertainty become your strategic advantage.
Voted One of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts To Watch and Top 41 Motivational Sales Speakers, Meridith Elliott Powell is an award-winning author who helps her clients learn how to turn uncertainty into competitive advantage. To learn more, visit: www.valuespeaker.com