A note for managers who are used to delivering results in measured numbers: This may require a shift in mindset toward another kind of success metric, but surviving, healing, and being seen are important parts of being human right now.
Do your people have dependents: children or parents or neighbors or friends or … anyone? Do they have obligations outside of work? Are they a human? Do they read the news? Whatever a person’s situation, it’s stressful simply being alive right now.
The human who depends on you in some shape or form could use a break. A break from expectation and scrutiny, from deadlines and pressure. And you can give it to them. So you should.
Every manager has some level of autonomy, and that is a power dynamic that can trickle down to your team. If you can take the heat for someone, do it.
Let them miss the meeting. Let them show up late. Let them step out early. Let them take an afternoon to get groceries.
Make decisions around your team from a place of abundance. There is not a finite amount of kindness, care, creativity, or even power.
What do you have as a manager that your team does not? Power to make decisions. Autonomy to arrange your schedule. Access to other people with those things. If we can give from the sources that make us strong, we lower the ladder and give others strength, too. Encourage connections and the sharing of strengths and resources between your team members rather than division or unnecessary competition.
Your job as a manager is to help people get out of their own way. Sometimes folks need to dive into their work, and sometimes folks need to step away. If your manager isn’t giving you the same reprieve? be the buffer. That’s the job.
The truth is, most people don’t know what you need without you telling them. It’s important to bear this in mind for both your reports and yourself.
When we achieve something for ourselves as leaders it trickles through the organization as the realization of accommodations we didn’t know were possible for everyone.
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