How to be a Leader in the Midst of Crisis and What Should be Prepared for the Aftermath
This blog is a part of our series: Working Together to Go Through Hard Times
What Should Leaders Pay Attention to in the Midst of Crisis
It’s important as a leader to create a psychological safety for their employers through openness and clarity, to be present and send signals of trust and hope. Our brain hates uncertainty, feeling out of control in a situation and to be excluded.
It wants inclusion, control and openness. In a crises and stressful situations our brain sees things even worse than they are since they are programmed for survival. In these situations, its important as a leader to send signals of calm and hope but not denial of the situation.
Our brains want to be informed often of the situation and the planned next steps that is taken to get us out of the situation – the company’s strategy. When communicating your decisions/strategy, be clear about why the company made the decision and that it can change if we get new information and that the company will keep you updated.
Truth is the grand simplifier.
Make the communication: Short & easy, use the expression ”right now”, repeat your message, “act your message” in real life.
A skilled leader acts from the inside with self-assurance, self-awareness and clear-sightedness, which builds confidence both internally and externally. Being confident in oneself means daring to show yourself vulnerable and insecure, being open about not knowing everything and at the same time pointing towards direction and hope.
Include more, the belief that every person is wise, capable, creative and wants to contribute gives you the opportunity to get more suggestions and the opportunity to see from multiple perspectives. If we tear down the hierarchy and ask for more ideas it will create good conditions for a creative problem solving.
Crisis create stress, which affects your judgment and decision-making ability. Be sure to take care of yourself, giving time for sleep, movement and eating correctly. Also keep yourself up to date of what is happening but not overconsume. Have a dedicated person to monitor the environment and give you relevant information.
Be flexible and curious - adapt and dare to try again. Ask the question what can we do now.
Show empathy, be caring but distinguish facts from feelings.
What the World Would be Like After the COVID-19 Crisis, and What Can Leaders Do to Prepare for That World
The world will be more digital and the need for being good at collaborative skills will be even more important since the really creative, problem-solving teams are diverse. You need as a leader create a trusting and open environment.
Our brains are biased, and we have both structural issues to consider and behavior skills to train to create psychological safety.
A new working environment will be asked for with a new leadership.
A leader's most important characteristic, when it comes to leading other people, is to be able to create an inclusive environment in which the potential of every individual is utilised. The latest findings within brain research indicate that relationships of trust are a prerequisite for creating a working environment where people feel comfortable to develop and in which diversity is welcomed.
Elisabeth Flodin is a holder of Executive Master's degree in Neuroscience Leadership and is certified within Radical Collaboration (she is a Master Trainer), The Human Element, Customer Relationships, Implicit Career Search, LEAN and Brain-Based Coaching. She is also an International Coach Federation (ICF) credential holder.
Elisabeth works in a broad network of consultants where she, together with the client, decides which consultants is best suited to carry out the assignment.
"Working Together to Go Through Hard Times" is an effort from BCon to contribute in providing some insights for leaders to cope with the unprecedented situation like the current COVID-19 pandemic by reaching out to researchers and experts who has been working closely with us to share their views.
The COVID-19 pandemic has its effect far-beyond the spread of the disease itself, it is causing human, economic and social crisis. In the world full of uncertainties, where business-, social-, and political leaders are struggling, we need to, more than ever, collaboratively work together to overcome the difficulties by leveraging our strengths, experiences and expertise.
Hope the writings will be an encouragement to think and act right through the difficult time.
Find more contents around the series here.