According to a recent Harvard Business Review Management Tip Of The Day: A leader sets the emotional tone and the example both in good times and, perhaps more important, in bad.
As a leader, how do you help your team deal with and move through a time of crisis? Before we go any further, let’s reframe the word crisis to change. That one step will help de-escalate the negative power of the word “crisis”.
Here are 5 tips to help people navigate change scenarios:
Our ability to navigate change is directly correlated to the meaning that we make about what happens to us. And the way that we make meaning is based on the stories that we tell ourselves about what happens to us. Now the meaning that we make will determine whether our experience is positive or negative, empowering or devastating.
Example: Lots of things are changing, lots of short notice client requests and deadlines
Meaning making option #1: OMG! This is so stressful! I am emotionally exhausted by this, it’s all too much!
Result of this meaning: missed deadlines, incomplete work, stress for self and those that have to deal with the missed deadlines/incomplete/low quality work, no fun for anyone and certainly no ease-grace-joy.
Meaning making option #2: Yippee! Change means movement and growth and a chance to really shine and pace myself. I will show up fully to serve our awesome tribe. How great that I get to tap my awesome brain to become even more clear, find even more solutions as I focus on the outcomes I want to create.
Result of this meaning: empowerment, choice of how to respond vs compulsively react, ease-grace-joy, support of self and others, shine my light, honor our company values, choose my reality.
Whatever is happening outside or inside of us is still going to happen. The power that we have is in choice. What meaning would you like to make?
Making “Good” Meaning
What helps us to make positive and empowering meaning?
In addition to our internal choice, external tools can come in handy. Check out the Four Factors of Sustainable SmartTribes below.
Let’s dive into each of the factors.
Our behavior depends primarily on beliefs and our sense of safety, belonging, and mattering plays a big part too. Behavior is also affected by whether we’re in our Critter State or our Smart State and governed by our beliefs, identity, resources and all of the other goodies on our Map of the world. It’s important to note the nature of behavior. More and more we’re realizing that behavior is quite predictable. We need to constantly distinguish what is driving our behavior out of alignment and how to shift back into alignment.
Desire is the first step towards leadership effectiveness. That fantastic intangible drive and passion for excellence, for being all that you can be is what makes a remarkable leader.
There are 5 factors, that I call SmartTribe Accelerators, which will help you assess your leadership effectiveness when you interact with others. These help you channel your drive and passion toward results:
I went in-depth regarding leadership effectiveness in my blog 7 Steps To Maximize Your Success As A Leader.
First of all, if an organization is to be truly effective, it must at heart be a learning organization, a term that was coined by Peter Senge. A learning organization is a company that facilitates the ongoing education and development of its members and continuously transforms itself.
A learning organization has five main features:
A SmartTribe can exist only in a flexible culture where learning and communication are consistent.
Mission, Vision & Values
Too often we walk into a company and find wordy mission statements moldering on the wall.
When the mission, vision and values are stale, or not aligned, or not communicated in an enticing way, it not only does not activate the reward network, it activates the pain network. People feel a lack of belonging, they feel low social status in comparison with others who work for organizations that are alive and aligned, they may feel betrayed if there is a conflict between what they signed up for and what is happening or between a stated value and reality.
Flat or misaligned mission, vision and values don’t just fail to inspire. They hurt. This becomes extremely apparent when there is a crisis. If the individuals aren’t compelled and vested in the mission of the company, when a crisis occurs, they won’t feel compelled to push through.
It’s essential that our team lives our company’s mission, vision, and values, which means leadership must model them and reinforce them constantly. If the behaviors of an organization’s leaders are not aligned with its values, you’ll often first see anger and resentment, and then apathy in team members.
We find some people may not be able to become profoundly aligned with other people, but they can and will become profoundly aligned with a potent mission, vision, and values.
Crises aren’t always inevitable. Leaders must empower our teams to push through each crisis and this empowerment is based on trust. If the team trusts you as their leader, have been provided the tools, and they trust themselves to push through, the crisis that may not have been avoidable won’t be crippling.
This article was written by Christine Comaford from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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