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How to Support the People You Lead in Times of Uncertainty

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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How to Support the People You Lead in Times of Uncertainty

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

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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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Unhealthy Ways to Deal with Uncertainty

  • Throw up your hands and give up. Then risking it all on the next big move for the company. Learn to fail faster - take lots of smaller risks instead of one big one and get feedback quickly.
  • Not wanting to make a decision at all because of fear of failure. Learning from failure is a valuable part of your education. If you make a couple of mistakes but outweigh those blunders with successes, you are okay.

Changing How We Evaluate Success with Decisions

... is critical in uncertaintyWe too often judge people by the outcomes of the decisions instead of on the process that was used to reach them.

However, isn’t it better if people had an unfortunate result and a great process than someone who had a successful outcome but flipped a coin to get there?

Meta-Skills

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Skills And Meta-Skills

Skills are temporary; meta-skills are permanent.

Learning a second language gives you a skill, a learned ability. A meta-skill, on the other hand, is your ability to learn new languages. Developing that meta-skill, makes it easier to learn a third or a fourth tongue.

Alvin Toffler

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“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."

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Dealing with difficult times

We may wonder if it is even possible to thrive during difficult patches in our lives. 

The word difficult could mean something different for every person, but the constant is our commitm...

Keep the big picture in mind

What you're going through is just a chapter of your life. The rest of the story is still unwritten. Once you emerge from a difficult period, a blank page will await you to change the record.

At the moment, everything feels confusing, but hindsight will be 20/20 vision. 

Define your success

Define your success. It is critical in order to know yourself. Success could be your health, career, friendships, being a good spouse or parent.

Difficult times in life require us to redefine our objective, to modify them to fit our new situations. What does betterment look like to you? Is it better health, better grades, healthy relationships? Write down your priorities and work towards them daily.

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