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How to Support the People You Lead in Times of Uncertainty

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_support_the_people_you_lead_in_times_of_uncertainty

greatergood.berkeley.edu

How to Support the People You Lead in Times of Uncertainty
Those in any kind of leadership position right now are called to find compassion for the people they serve.

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Coping in uncertainty

Coping in uncertainty

Whether you are a manager, teacher, or physician, you are a leader in your organization or community. In times of distress, it can be difficult to know how to help others best and motivate them to continue performing and growing.

The pandemic is making it even more difficult, changing how you work, learn, or communicate.

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Coaching with compassion

In the face of uncertainty, it is natural to hold on to the status quo and stick to as-normal-as-possible routines and tasks. This can work when the context is predictable, and the goal is clearly defined.

However, during periods of volatility and stress, a taskmaster mode could be a mistake. The individual can feel pressured or obligated, which will make them negative. It is more important to prioritize your team's needs and create an environment of trust and support. It will unleash positive emotions, and the person is likely to feel more confident, hopeful, and willing to consider new ideas.

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How to coach with compassion

We can follow six steps to help others, using the acronym “REACH”:

  • Resonance. Check in with each person without discussing a list of tasks. The goal is to create a supportive and positive relationship.
  • Empathy. Shift your concern from wanting to be understood to understanding others.
  • Awareness. Be aware of your mindset and emotions. Emotions are contagious.
  • Compassion. Try to focus on the needs of others and encourage caring and warmth to help another person in their development.
  • Hope. Spreading positive emotions will uplift others when you help them to picture a brighter and better future.
  • Humor. Stress shuts us down to new ideas and experiences. By keeping things light, you remind others to keep smiling. In turn, it will reduce stress and increase satisfaction, productivity, and performance.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Feedback

Feedback

Feedback provides an opportunity to gain insights about a person's personal and professional actions.
Without feedback, we will move in the same direction without realizing our shortcomings. ...

Types of feedback

  • Positive vs. negative. Positive feedback confirms that someone is taking good action, while negative feedback shows what actions need to be corrected.
  • Formal vs. informal. Formal feedback is given on a set schedule, and informal feedback is short and follows after an action or event.
  • Annual vs. monthly
  • Verbal vs. written
  • Manager vs. peer

Effective feedback

Effective feedback is:
  • Objective. Don't let your personal feelings get in the way.
  • Timely. Feedback should follow when the event is still fresh.
  • Constructive. Give respect and show that you have their best interests in mind.
  • Actionable. Feedback must include immediate next steps.
  • Warranted. Give your employees room for mistakes and learn from them.

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Communication during stressful times

Communication during stressful times

Uncertainty has a way to reveal everyone's strengths and weaknesses. During drastic uncertainty, employees will seek more information in order to achieve a sense of certainty. During this unsta...

Managing the passive communicators

  • Talk to them one-on-one. They will feel more comfortable opening up.
  • Offer multiple modes of communication. Instead of calling on them during a meeting, send them an email afterward.
  • Help them feel psychologically safe at work. Let your team know they won't face negative consequences for voicing their opinion respectfully.

Passive communicators battle to express their needs and stand by their convictions. This is because they want to avoid conflict. They may be silent during crucial meetings. If they do make a suggestion and it is challenged, they may say, "never mind then."

Managing the aggressive communicators

  • Outline and enforce boundaries. If they interrupt someone, step in and say, "Please let [Name} finish, and afterward, we'll give you time to speak too."
  • Give them a safe and healthy way to vent their anger. People under pressure are more likely to act out. Pull them aside for a one-on-one time to address their concerns.

Aggressive Communicators voice their opinions in a straightforward, often blunt way. They often interrupt others, take up significantly more time than others during meetings and don't take into account others' feelings or opinions.

The Advice Trap

The Advice Trap

It happens when one rushes to provide advice, which is most likely to be discarded or ignored, even if the person was asked for it.

Even with good intentions, providing advice isn’...

Word Play When Asking For Advice

When someone mentions a problem, it most likely isn’t the core problem but only an outward symptom.

Even if by some miracle one is able to find out the real problem, it does not mean that the advice doled out will be useful or will be implemented.

Ignorance And Superficial Knowledge

Most people are ignorant of their ignorance and live in a self-created bubble of superficial knowledge, which they believe is the only true knowledge there is, due to a cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

A piece of straightforward advice doled out to be followed to the tee, is often due to lack of knowledge, rather than because of it.