This will be the second in a series of three posts outlining ways that leaders need supporting in these uniquely challenging times.
- The first dealt with what to do in the immediate term and can be found here
- This one will look at what support leaders will need as we transition back to a new sort of normal
- The next will be focussed on leadership in the new organisations that will emerge in the aftermath of the pandemic
Five ways to support leaders as COVID-19 crisis management is loosened
1. Slow things down
After this extended time of disruption and catastrophic news, there will be a temptation to leap back into what we think of as "business as usual" as quickly as possible. This may not be the best option in all cases; where there is an option to introduce a further change, even when this is a change back to the way things were, encouraging leaders to do this at a more measured pace will support people who may have only just grasped the extent to which the COVID-19 measures have had an impact on their own worlds
2. Help leaders to be mindful of their development
All change is an opportunity to learn and improve. Enabling a heightened sense of consciousness in leaders around what is happening during the transition will enable them to return equipped with new skills that they have developed during this time.
3. Create ways to intentionally engage the whole brain
During times of crisis, the amygdala has a tendency to hijack the mind. Leaders will have spent a significant amount of time acting on impulse under severe stress, then making decisions using an overly analytical approach. The leaders who expand their thinking to think creatively as well as logically will make the return journey most effectively.
4. Hold onto what is good
COVID-19 has been bad news and we all need to learn lessons from it. That said, it is not true that no good has come from it. New skills and mindset around remote working, more empowered people and a shared experience and new mindset of resilience should be actively fostered as circumstances change.
5. Celebrate the new normal
At present, we are without what only a month ago was the most basic of experiences: watching sport, going to a restaurant, children’s parties and even shaking hands. They will be returning, and when we get there, it will be powerful to continually raise people's attention to those things in order to appreciate them.
A large proportion of the coaching advice we provide was already being delivered remotely and in line with leading practice, based on the largest ever coaching governance research project.
We are keen to assist our clients as circumstances continue to change; if you would like an agenda-free conversation about how you are supporting your leaders at the moment, and thoughts you’re having about the future, please do let me know.
Leaders who are actively mindful will be entering a new normal equipped with new skills, behaviours and attitudes fit for post-pandemic organisations.