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Tip of the Day

Leading during Covid-19 – Tip #1

By April 6, 2020September 12th, 2022No Comments

Leadership, Covid-19 and Stress

Stress is considered the leading contributor to bad decisions and communication which negatively impact your people.

And, many of us are now remote from our people, so we have to learn new ways to communicate which is adding to an already high level of stress.

Engage your new Virtual team


Uncertainty and a lack of control can cause us to feel stress.  Unexpected change is a key contributor to this, and heightens our stress when we feel we don’t have any way to change what is happening around us. However what we do have control over is our response. What we choose to do next. We can either stay home and be safe or not. We can panic buy or just get what we need. We can be grumpy with family or appreciate this extra time. We could drink more or go for a walk. What is one small thing you could to today that is going to benefit you and those around you? Even if you don’t feel like doing it. Do it!
We are all very hard on ourselves most of the time. There are some good scientific reasons for this, which are largely because our brains have a negative bias which influences negative self-talk. Negative bias was created to protect us millions of years ago from being eaten by a lion while out searching for food.  Preparing us for the worst outcome. Is it helpful though to focus on worst possible outcome? When we do that, what are we missing out on? What is another outcome or alternative thought you could have?  And if you didn’t have that particularly negative thought, what would that free you up to do?
As Leaders of others, we can’t afford to focus on the worst outcome and then react because of that thinking. Leaders have a responsibility to ensure their team stay focussed and engaged in the right direction and stay well. If we let our immediate reaction take over, e.g., flight (avoid), fright (procrastinate) or fight (be defensive, argumentative or micromanage), we can cause more stress and even harm.

So what do Leaders do right now?

Leaders need to take a step back, take a breath and recognise their immediate response may not be the best one. If you are a Leader, you need to recognise when you are feeling that sense of flight, fright, fight, and pause. What you do next could be a reaction rather than a considered response.
A very simply technique is to approach fear with curiosity. Curiosity turns on our “smart” brain that is able to make good decisions. For example:
Reactive response: “I am worried that my team are not focussing on what they need to and this is going to mean job loss for them or me if I can’t turn this around. I therefore need to have more meetings, and ask for more reports and proof of more output!”.
Try this instead:
Curious response: “What can I do help them focus. What do they need from me?  What can I do to relax my own reactions? Do I need to go for a walk before I respond here?”


Leaders may need to trust their people, even though they have less visibility. Do you really want to micromanage over video?
Reactive response: “I think some of my team are treating this like a holiday while I have other team doing way too many hours!  I need to stop this!  I am going to send an email now bringing everyone’s attention to it”.

Try this instead:
Curious response: “I am going to ask the team if we can meet for a very short 15 minute tap tap meeting every morning, with the idea of getting that to 5 minutes. We are just going to lightly tap on issues, and if I feel there are some that need a deep dive I will do that separately. This will give me more visibility about what people are working on and struggling with, rather than assume.”
This simple technique will transform you from reactive to proactive.


I hope this information was of value. However if you feel you need more assistance with Stress personally or a colleague, book a time with me below.
This week I will be releasing a series of FREE videos to help Leaders during Covid-19. If you don’t normally receive emails from me, and would like access these email info@margieireland.com or subscribe to my blog and I will include you. 
I help Leaders perform even during times of Stress. My clients then become confident, consistent and authentic Leaders who inspire others to reach their potential resulting in massive success.

Can I help you?

  1. Book and initial 15 min phone or virtual consult with me to establish if I am I the right person to help you or your Leader
  2. Yes? We then schedule a 1 hour “deep dive” chat (via video conference) regarding the key issues and desired outcomes.
  3. Allow me to provide a tailored plan
  4. We execute that plan together
Warmly, Margie Ireland
Leadership Coach | Psychologist