“Boats don’t need Captains in still waters…“
It’s tempting to batten down the hatches and go into seclusion during difficult times… and while that’s human nature, it’s exactly the opposite of what we need to be doing as Leaders.
With all the confusion, folks are nervous, scared, frustrated, bewildered, and feeling rudderless. We may be sending our people to work from home, asking them to work in ways they haven’t before, or possibly even sending them home with no work at all.
Those conversations can be incredibly challenging… and many of us are feeling more than just a little inadequate as we sail these uncharted waters.
Time to step up and take the helm.
Right now, communication is critical… and it’s exactly what our people need from us as Leaders.
We may need to maintain personal distance, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pick up the phone and check in with our Team Members. You don’t have to prepare an eloquent script… just engage them in a conversation. Be a good human. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask about their Families. Ask if they have any questions that you can check on for them (and then do!). Use that opportunity to give them any update you may have. If you don’t have any new information, let them know that you’ll be sure to keep them posted as soon as you hear something new. Do this frequently… not just “once and done”.
Hearing your voice is probably the best… but if that’s not possible, consider dropping them a short e-mail or even a text. Just let them know you’re thinking about them. Especially if you’re not seeing them or hearing from them as much as you were before. Be deliberate.
If you’re all at work, it could be a reassuring smile and wave from across the parking lot… and an invitation to do a quick call to catch up. The worst thing you can do, is go “radio silent”. That reassures no one… and sends all the wrong messages.
You don’t need to be “perfect”… you simply need to be “present”.
At some point, this too shall pass. What will you wish you had done to help your people through the rough waters? Don’t wait…