by Kevin Eikenberry, co-founder Remote Leadership Institute
Chances are you can’t go more than five minutes in a conversation without the topic of the coronavirus coming up. It is on everyone’s minds; but as a leader we must rise above the chatter.
While the fear and panic that surround the impacts of coronavirus are pervasive today, in your organization you have seen similar things before. Anytime there is change coming (or is suspected) people react emotionally to the unknown – specifically the fear of the unknown.
As leaders, whether the fear is related to a virus or a merger, our role is the same. We need to:
- recognize and acknowledge the fear and concern
- provide people with as much information as we can
In this time of delirium, panic and uncertainty, we can be the providers of critical data. Let people know what you know, and what you don’t. Keep people focused on facts, not speculation. Plan and prepare, but do it in a calm measured way.
When the group is in a highly charged, negative emotional state, productivity, focus, quality and more will drop. And their emotional state will be, in part, a reflection of yours.
In short, take a breath, then help the team do the same.
Likely you’re already had to take some drastic measures, like having everyone work from home, canceling business travel, changing major work processes, policies or deliverables. You do it all with a sense of calm and confidence – and that will translate to your team.
As I announced last week, I am continuing to dedicate Wayne Turmel, who you know well on these pages and my co-author of The Long-Distance Leader (and of our next book, The Long-Distance Teammate), to focusing on helping organizations like yours take a positive step forward.
Yes, we have products and services that might help your leaders or teams, but first things first. If you want an expert in your corner to share your concerns and plans with, or want someone to help you get started, Wayne’s your guy.
An initial consultation with Wayne will cost you nothing – we want to help you and your teams be successful in what might be a trying transition.