Stephanie Garza is our Director of Support at Iscential.
She has written a letter on how to lead by example in time that has placed so many new and uncertain challenges on all of us.
Leading through COVID-19
Last week I attended a webinar that spoke to leaders on how to gain the trust of their team during this pandemic. I am sure this is a question that many leaders and business owners are asking, so I wanted to share some of my personal takeaways.
The reality is that the current conditions are tough. People are overloaded with information, and it seems that CNN has a new nickname as “COVID News Network”. People are stressed. People have a lot of questions, and no one really has answers.
The way we respond under these conditions is also important. We all possess The Reptilian Brain, which is fight or flight. In stressful conditions, your brain decides whether to stay and fight or run like the wind. Stress has proven to be a positive motivator in some respects. Athletes are put under stress to push their physical limits and improve their performance. One of the most respected examples of this would be our servicemen and women in the military. They are pushed to the limit both physically and mentally, yet still, they stand and fight.
The other part of this observation is that if one is pushed too far, they will shut down. What happens when you shut down? You become stagnant and less likely to do new things. You become more risk-averse, avoiding anything that seems uncertain. And last, you become more loss averse, holding on tightly to everything you hold dear.
People are experiencing many emotions right now. A group of individuals was asked the question,
“Describe how you’re feeling right now?” Their responses were some of the following words:
These are powerful expressions of emotions that many of us can relate to feeling right now.
Considering the reality that we are now living in, there is some encouraging news for business owners and leaders during this time. A survey showed that 70% of employees are saying they do trust their employer during this time. People trust what is close and local. People trust small institutions over big institutions. 56% of employees stated they trust COVID-19 information given by their employer. What does this mean for business owners and leaders in your organization? It means that you have the trust of your team in an uncertain time, probably more so than ever before. Now that you have their trust, how do you foster it? Maintain it? Nurture it?
Here is what you can do starting today:
Show that you care
- Find out what pain your team is experiencing, and start working on solutions for those problems
- Alleviating pain in a process can boost employee morale and consumer sales
Show that you can cope
- Be a source of hope and strength
- Constantly talk about wins that your team is achieving
- Do things that bring you joy
Show that you are in command
- Find solutions to problems, big or small
- Whatever business or industry you are in, be the best!