Today’s business leaders face unprecedented challenges during these uncertain times. Understanding how to lead confidently as public policy and regulations change daily makes clear leadership even harder. Financial difficulty, safety regulations, loss of staff, and more present circumstances require small business owners and executives to develop a path forward with solid communication that connects and encourages both employees and clients.
Four Goals of Leadership During Uncertain Times
1 – Inform
When information changes daily, it isn’t easy to keep staff and customers informed. Yet, strong leadership means communicating the most important information accurately and consistently. As leaders, we know the value of confidence. While you want to speak confidently, you do not need to wait until you have all the information to speak to your team.
In fact, withholding communication can undermine your leadership. Provide the most accurate information available and share honestly about what you don’t have the answers to. A willingness to admit uncertainty builds trust, especially during times of crisis.
Remember to keep vendors and clients up-to-date as well. They understand we are in unprecedented circumstances. But, that is no excuse for going silent.
2 – Connect
Connection builds trust. In many industries, an in-person connection is not possible right now. While the connection with your team may look different, it still matters. Use online conferencing tools and social distancing guidelines to communicate.
Don’t just send emails to share updates. Instead, schedule meetings or talk one-on-one with your team members. This is especially valuable when the news is bad. Also, check-in if you don’t hear from a team member that should be working from home. It is a time to stay connected and show concern for our teams.
3 – Encourage
As a leader, your words and actions set the tone for the business. If you act like the sky is falling, your team will feel panic. If you remain calm, even in the face of hard decisions, your team will feel encouraged.
Be honest but also offer hope. Let your team and your customers know you care and the steps you are taking to move forward. Also, listen to their concerns and suggestions. People want to feel heard. Simply listening offers encouragement that their voice matters.
4 – Guide
Arguably, your most important role as a leader is to provide guidance. Offer clear direction and expectations. Check-in with each person to ensure they understand their specific expectations. This allows you to communicate priorities clearly and address any confusion.
In addition, if roles have changed, provide the support or training needed for people to succeed. Especially in times of crisis, leaders must provide guidance if you want your small business to weather the storm.
Seek Help as a Leader
These are uncertain times and as a leader, you need support too. At Alliance Business Coaching, we specialize in leadership training. We help leaders analyze their business to determine the best path forward.
Contact us today for support. We offer individual and group leadership training. We also offer unbiased business valuations to help you make smart financial decisions for your future.