7 Tips That’ll Boost Motivation During Uncertain Times
Political instability or sudden changes, natural disasters, change in leadership, competitor mergers and acquisitions – any of these can bring about uncertain times. And with uncertainty comes doubt, fear, stress and loss of morale and productivity. It’s the only natural reaction people have to uncertain times. While there may be a few quick fixes to give you some comfort and reassurance, the damage is done. You’ll most likely still carry around the weight of if all, much like a guillotine over your head.
It’s times like these you need a strong leader to bring order to chaos and calm people’s nerves. When hope is diminishing fast and motivation is plummeting, leaders can be the rock that brings stability and strength to their people during uncertain times.
So how do you lead your people through the pitfalls and challenges of uncertain times? Here are a few tips you can apply to be their savior.
1. Radiate Positivity
First things first – you’re the leader, the mentor, the coach and the role model – all eyes are on you. When everyone’s going to be looking up to your for inspiration and guidance. That’s probably all the reason you need to stay calm, collected, and positive. You cannot buckle under pressure or panic during uncertain times. Even if the solutions aren’t that obvious or worked out, your people need to see confidence at the top. They need to be assured that their leader is going to stay strong, brim with confidence and radiate positivity throughout the organization.
2. Encourage Input
Uncertainty can catch anyone off guard. And when it’s here we’re not always prepared or equipped with the adequate solutions. That’s alright. While you may not have all the answers or ideas, you do have around you a group of talented individuals. This is the right time to tap into their intellect and exploit their brave, bold and courageous spirit. You’ll be amazed at the input you’ll get and may even be able to identify some hidden talent in your team. Also, by opening yourself to ideas from all around you’re giving your organization a wide array of solutions to consider, rather than the single approach you’ll possibly take. Share the ownership (and the burden) of keeping the organization afloat.
3. Walk Them Through the Plan
After people have braced themselves from the shock of uncertainty, they usually turn to the leader for a solution. That’s when you step in with your grand plan to steady the rocking ship. This is your moment to elaborate on what the plan entails, what everyone will be doing and how they’ll contribute towards the plan, and what each step will be along the way. Your plan may face conflict or questioning so be prepared to address these concerns to ensure you have everyone’s buy-in. The key is to walk your team through the plan in such detail that transparency is ensured. After all, trust is flaky during uncertain times so you’ll need to be transparent with your plan to build on it.
4. Stay Nimble, Agile and Adaptive
Staying nimble and agile is probably the most important trait to possess in uncertain times. You may have a solid plan, however, there’s always the possibility of new information arising that’ll alter your course or offer a better solution. That’s why plans need to change to adapt to the situation. Staying rigid and firm on a single path could lead your organization to deeper damages. Adaptability is key here.
5. Remain Engaged and Accessible
During uncertain times the leader is the beacon. And if the beacon wasn’t visible to everyone, there’d be darkness. Darkness here translates to low morale and demotivation. As the leader you want to continue to shine your light of hope and inspiration on your team. That’s why you’ll need to remain even more engaged with your team and accessible to them. You simply have to make time for them to vent their frustrations, voice their concerns and generally mentor them. Staying absent will only instill more darkness in them during these uncertain times.
6. Even Small Wins Matter
Every win matters. And yes the small ones too. Let’s face it, morale is so low that everyone’s scrambling to keep their heads above water. A small win, while it may not save the organization, is still a win – it’s a step in the right direction. And that’s precisely the boost people need to get the ball rolling. Go for the quick, easy and small wins just to get a burst of positivity into your team. That’s the adrenaline kick they need to keep gunning for more small wins that’ll collectively all add up.
7. Communication is Paramount
You’re probably least likely to get away with fluff-talk and bullshit during uncertain times. People can see through all that. As a leader you need to maintain your credibility and hence, it’s best you avoid all the nonsense. Stick to the facts (even if it’s hard to accept) and only the facts. Your people need to know what you know (and what you don’t know). You may think that sharing a lot of information would create panic, but interestingly enough, withholding it will be more detrimental for your team. Keep the communication channels open and frequent so that your team can maintain their trust in you and feel apart of the process.
There’s no doubting that leading during uncertain times is challenging, but alienating yourself from your team and trying to figure things out on your own isn’t going to solve much. You need the support of your team, who at present may be going through a challenging time as well. By following these tips you’ll find a way to keep them engaged, motivated and charged up so that they can continue to be your winning team.
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