As leaders, not only do we have our own concerns and adjustments to make right now, we also have the responsibility of supporting our team members and other stakeholders. As I have connected with clients over the past few weeks, the ones that are thriving are recognizing the importance of what Brene Brown calls “attending to fears and feelings.” This becomes particularly important during these heightened times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
Here is was I have learned as a leader, a student of leadership, and from my clients who are navigating these changes to a remote work environment right now:
- Have informal, impromptu, one-to-one calls or webinars with each team member to ask about how they and their families are doing. … and just listen. This shows that you care and that you are a source of support.
- Have weekly team meetings by webinar so that you can connect with and see each other and:
- Have a clear, preset and pre-shared agenda and ask for any additional items
- Schedule the meeting to have the time to cover the agenda or shorten the agenda
- Have a clear leader of the meeting and somebody else who takes responsibility for managing the chat area and to ensure each person provides input.
- Minimize the use of slides that take up screen space.
- Have a quick check-in … could be a one-word or one-sentence check-in.
- Take turns talking. Conduct round robins where you ask each person for their input prior to moving to the next topic.
- Ensure action items are clear – who is doing what by when, what the context and purpose of the action is, what resources are required, when check-ins will occur
- Summarize all meeting outcomes and action items prior to ending the meeting
- Follow-up with written notes and/or checklist to ensure everybody understands and is on the same page.
- Do a quick check-out. One word about how each person is feeling now.
These meetings will provide connection, clarity and context so that people feel that they are in this together and not alone.
3. If you sense that a person in a meeting was unusually quiet, talkative or hesitant, reach out to them one-to-one. Repeat Step 1 above.
4. Frequently share what you see is going well.
These 4 steps can apply with people in other roles as well – your peers, leaders, and other stakeholders.
People are looking to you for clarity, direction, and support. These practical tips can support you and support you to support them.
Let me know how I can assist you. To connect, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in navigating,
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