You can hardly become too good in leadership, especially today – when the whole world is vulnerable to changes as a result of the pandemic. Managing remote or hybrid teams can become a complex challenge for even an experienced manager. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of leadership papers that were published this winter in world-renowned sources. Read further to get some useful tips on managing people and being the one who’s followed.
Everyone is fully aware of the harmful pandemic effect on the whole world but has anybody ever thought about the lessons it gave us? MIT Sloan experts suggest to consider at least 9 lessons that the pandemic has taught us:
- Get ready for instability and learn how to exist and work effectively under these conditions;
- Focus on sensemaking to succeed;
- Make humanization and empathy the core of leadership;
- Share emotions with your team, your people should know how you feel and should be able to communicate their emotions, too;
- Businesses can’t be controlled and predicted, though the ‘right’ approach to your people will unleash their potential – this is what you can do and know the results;
- People are negatively affected by uncertainty and social instability, so it’s up to leaders to help them find a way out;
- Help people establish work-life balance to reduce the stress that has been accumulating during these months;
- Any relations require effort and a lot of work. Work relations are of no exception. Your teams should feel support and care.
- Create restorative habits to refocus and stay positive.
Self-assessment is a real challenge: how can one understand he or she is a good leader? Marcel Schwantes suggests answering the following questions to understand how developed your leadership skills are:
- Do you accept feedback positively?
- Can you say your work environment is psychologically safe?
- Do you let your people participate in making decisions?
- Can you characterize your communication skills as good?
- Do you lead your business passionately, with love?
Positive answers to these questions can be a great sign meaning that you love what you do, you treat your people with respect, and you’re good at managing people.
Brooke Vuckovic, a clinical professor of leadership at Kellogg, suggests the following formula to measure executive presence:
Credibility is the level of your expertise and the way you behave in the presence of your people. It’s suggested to be based on some rules: as little filter words as possible, no pen clicking and things alike, no monotone delivery.
Ease is based on satisfying your physiological, psychological, and social needs. At the workplace, supporting ease in establishing and maintaining contact with coworkers, the ability to listen to others and be heard.
Ego includes your ability to demonstrate how you can contribute and what you think other people can do for the common good. And the key to success is to have an adequate ego.
To develop the sense of belonging in your teams, Susan M. Heatfield, the author of the article, advises to focus on the following needs any employee has:
- Control. Trust your experts and let them make independent decisions if you want them to be self-confident and strive for reaching higher aims.
- Self-expression. Just let your people be themselves.
- Growth. Your people should know your company provides growth opportunities. Fair and transparent growth conditions is a great advantage of any organization. It will make employees feel valued and they will more likely stay in the company.
- Recognition. By recognizing your team members’ strengths and achievements, you motivate them to grow and do their best.
- Belonging. The main aim is to make people feel comfortable at the workplace without the impression of being isolated.
- Care. A leader who cares about their employees, will let them control their work, let them grow, will allow for promotions, recognize their strengths and achievements. Care is the core element in this system of needs as it summarizes them all.
According to Gallup’s research, team engagement is dependent on their manager as the manager is perceived today not as a boss but as a coach. This is why companies should invest in the development of their managers’ leadership skills and unleashing their potential. Vibhas Ratanjee, the author of the paper, suggests that the following leadership competencies will be extremely required for every manager in any organization in the nearest future:
- Making strong relationships;
- Coaching others;
- Driving transformations;
- Inspiring and motivating others;
- Being a great communicator;
- Being responsible.
The lessons learnt by business owners from the COVID-19 pandemic can be summarized in the following way:
- Combining physical and digital to become phygital. The pandemic has shown that people have easily switched to online and can rather easily get used to the changing world, which means everyone can accept any transformations and adjust to them.
- Everyone should be flexible and find a balance in everything.
- Fighting against fragility and striving for prosperity even in the middle of chaos is a great decision.
- Tend to work as an eco-system, not the ego-system. To operate efficiently, sometimes we need third parties’ help, so it’s ok to join forces for the common good.
- Remember about self-development and stay open to changes and innovation.
As we’ve switched to the hybrid business world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, where employees working for the same company choose where to work from: the office or home, leaders should get used to the new work arrangement.
The author suggests several points for leaders to keep in mind when managing hybrid teams:
- Be in touch with every employee regardless of their workplace.
- Revise the company rules and policies to make sure everything is fair and equal.
- Create a reliable team atmosphere where nobody is afraid of asking for help and communicating their troubles.
- Monitoring the environment includes conducting regular performance reviews for everybody, team launches, and onboarding.
Do you have any insights about working in a post-pandemic environment?