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8 Tips to Lead During Turbulent Times

Since March when the coronavirus upended nearly everything we’ve taken for granted, we’ve experienced sea changes in the world around us, the way we work and the way we live our lives. Economic downturns, job loss or uncertainty, fear of contracting COVID-19, children being schooled at home, virtual meetings from morning till night - all exact a toll. But there’s a choice to make: it takes the same amount of energy to make ourselves miserable or make ourselves strong. With that in mind, here are eight tips to take the lead in your organization and cope well personally amidst turbulence.

Increase communication. A good communications plan includes listening. Find out from employees what they need to know and provide as much information as you can.

Direct attention to the mission: what you provide for whom and why it matters. Help people keep the benefits and results of your services or products front and center. Share stories that inspire pride and purpose.

Focus on several short-term, attainable goals or objectives. This will allow you and staff to feel like winners at a time when wins are essential to keep morale up.

Celebrate small steps and victories. When threats loom large, everyday efforts and results often go un-remarked. Create an internal culture of acknowledgement for the things that are going right. Find vehicles to make successes of every size highly visible. Say thank-you more often.

On the personal front, block out some time each day to think and plan. Step away from your desk and screen and choose a place where you’re free of distractions. When you give yourself this sacred space, it goes a long way to arrest the downward spin of a tiring day.

Take a serious stand for your health. Left unchecked, stress creates a high level of cortisol in the body which leads to impaired thinking skills, higher blood pressure and lower resistance to illness. Exercise and physical activity are the magic bullets that help bring stress under control.

Be aware of your needs. Needs are very individual. Mine are things like getting outdoors, brightly-lit surroundings, and freedom from clutter. Yours are undoubtedly different and just as important to your well-being. Reclaim a sense of control during turbulent times by paying more attention to your unmet needs.

Practice appreciation. Name the things for which you're grateful. Even in the most trying of times, good can be found when we deliberately pause to focus on it.

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