This is my ninth article in as many weekdays and in the last few, I have talked about different ways we as leaders can start adjusting to our new reality.
Yes, I know some of us are still hoping all will return to how it was. That might happen, but for now I want to make sure you have some strategies to keep you and your team functioning right now…
What tends to relieve anxiety in a team is having a back up plan. You may already be working on contingency plans. If you are, what I would strongly encourage is to have your team involved. I talked last week about a lack of control and how much anxiety and stress that creates. A really quick way to relieve that is transparency. A lot of us have been asking our governments to be transparent about their decisions and intentions. Your people need this too.
Organise a regular discussion called the A,B,C plan. These are basically 3 alternative plans you will implement based on the adjustments or changes you have had to make as a result of the pandemic.
A, typically is best-case scenario, while B and C are the alternative plans if A can’t happen. If you have already started on your A plan, then have your broader team focus on your B and C plan. You may be surprised about what the person who has little control due to their role, has to offer.
If you have enough people, create an A, B and C team who meet separately to cut down on your whole of team meeting. Have the A,B and C teams nominate a speaker to present at the weekly virtual meeting.
Run the meeting something like this…
- “So last meeting we agreed to come up with some ideas on how we tackle __________.”
- “I’ll ask the representatives from the A, B and C team to cover their ideas in 5 minutes – I will have a timer and call time at the last minute. I am also going to summarise in dot points what you say at the end.”
- You (leader) share the summarised points and agree to come back with feedback by the next meeting (or whatever is reasonable)
- Assign next problem to solve.
This exact structure may not work for your business, it is just a guide. Play with it.
You also may need someone to help you capture all the ideas. Most of the ideas you won’t be able to implement and I get that. Make that clear upfront. However this is an opportunity to help the team feel engaged and to get their brains focussed on solving problems and not getting stuck in negative cycles like I covered in yesterday’s article ‘Getting unstuck from negativity to acceptance & adjustment‘.
One good idea generated from collective minds is beneficial for the business and the team.
Margie Ireland works with CEO’s, executives, HR professionals, managers and leaders. Margie is a psychologist with a strong commercial background of 25 years and specialises in supporting highly capable leaders to thrive in challenging times. To discuss your needs and to book an initial no-obligation 15 minute call, click here.