Connecting requires a more concerted effort when you are not physically together as a team for an extended time. This video series offers practical tips for leaders during a lockdown or in a remote working environment.
Manage your wellbeing: First and foremost, you need to manage your wellbeing. In a COVID impacted world, our leaders are under a new level of pressure to meet business goals, KPIs, client needs, and manage teams while looking out for their wellbeing. So taking care of your wellbeing needs to be a priority, as you can’t give what you don’t have.
Model the behaviours: We must model the behaviours we want to see in our team as leaders. Show your employees that wellbeing is an integral part of life and performance by modelling the behaviour and creating the space for employees to take care of themselves. Self-care is not selfish. It is fundamental to wellbeing and performance.
We are humans: Remote working brings a new level of complexity when leading a team and ensuring people are performing and doing okay. Many people are juggling work demands, home-schooling, home life and more, so we need to remember that we are humans with a range of needs and emotions under a new level of pressure.
Fundamental human skills: Now more than ever, we need to be engaging in our foundational human skills of:
- Presence: When connecting with a team member, give your undivided attention by turning off your phone, e-mail notifications and have a genuine conversation.
- Deep listening: You can’t always see the effects of mental health, or if team members are struggling, you must listen for it. That means listening to understand, not to tell or respond.
- Compassion and empathy for others: It is easy to fall into judgements and make assumptions, but you will be amazed at the trust built by coming from a place of understanding, compassion, and empathy.
- Compassion and empathy for self: Equally as important is to show compassion and empathy for ourselves. We can be hard on ourselves when we don’t feel we are where we need or want to be.
- Intentional connection: Carve out specific time to connect with your team, remembering some people are extroverts or more easily able to share where they are at, others more introverted or uncomfortable sharing. Set time aside to connect and genuinely ask how they are doing, how I can support you, and what do you need, particularly if you haven’t heard from them in a while.
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