Today's leadership challenge—how to lead strongly through crisis.
Whether it’s an immediate, imminent or latent crisis situation, the human brain goes into survival mode. People find it more difficult to process information. People seek confirmation before taking action. Survival instincts can over-ride normal behaviour.
And it's not only our staff and our customers who respond may like this. Our leaders do too.
Now is the time for human-centred leadership.
We need human centred leadership skills today.
In times of crisis, if we don’t consider how people are reacting, our well-crafted business continuity strategies will be only partially effective.
Here's what to look out for:
People find it more difficult to process information.
During a crisis, we become very focussed on our own survival. It is hard to be open to new perspectives during a crisis situation. We hold onto deeply held beliefs and interpret information in line with these beliefs.
People seek confirmation before taking action.
At a time where early, clear and decisive action can have a huge positive impact on the situation, people hesitate and seek more confirmation before acting during times of uncertainty.
Survival instincts can over-ride normal behaviour.
During times of fear, uncertainty and ambiguity, our survival instincts can have damaging cultural impact, it is essential for leaders to steward their people in a human-centred, calm, strategic and well-informed way.
Download our human side of business continuity info sheet.
Beyond technology and your best-laid plans—download our one-pager on how to ensure your strategy works for people in crisis.
So what can you do?
Leading people through crisis requires different skills and behaviours in your leaders.
The focus should be on building your ability to navigate through highly complex and ambiguous situations unlock the potential of your teams. What's crucial are abilities to build and sustain connection in remote situations, combined with being able to self-care—being in the best place yourself so that you can support others.
This is the time for human-centred leadership.
Here are some of the key things
to focus on in how to lead through crisis:
Boost your ability to connect and embody hope.
Helping people stay out of the fear-based survival mode requires your leaders to connect with them as people, and embody clear, wise, steady leadership. This provides a consistent and certain frame to support and guide your people, and help keep them calm and focused.
Benefit: more effective results from your continuity plans, and greater levels of support from your people.
Improve decision-making in complexity and ambiguity.
Best practice can’t help us in new situations. We need to adapt. In new and evolving situations, leaders need to embody a decision-making style that embraces complexity and deals with changes in an emergent way. This is sometimes a tough ask—having to change the plans you established last week.
Benefit: more certain and clear leadership that adapts, keeps teams performing and feeling well-led.
Think beyond tools and design a human-centred action plan.
Business continuity plans tend to have a functional bias to them and focus on data, systems, process and procedures. With widespread, long term and an unpredictable crises, we need to respond by designing an action plan for continuity through takes the person into consideration.
Benefit: improved team experience through change, and increased feelings of usefulness during a crisis.
A course to help build the mindsets, knowledge and skills in leaders facing new and unpredictable challenges.
Leading through crisis is a deep dive into five key foundations of human centred leadership. These skills underpin the fundamentals of leading in the 21st century. The skills you'll learn are re-usable on the other side of crisis to support new cultures and ways of working in agile and digital landscapes.
Key lessons for leading through crisis:
Tuning in—Establish new ways of leading by using listening skills that make people feel more connected and confident.
Showing up—Overcome your challenges by changing your presence and the way have conversations with your people.
Reflecting—Manage uncertainty and remain open in the moment by establishing a reflective practice to learn from change.
Emergence—Establish confidence as a leader by providing clarity and direction within ambiguous contexts and times of uncertainty.
Growth—Become comfortable with new ways of leading by feeling a sense of possibility, progress, and growth.
These human centred leadership skills are also the foundations of leading in an agile and digital landscape. Investing in this program now will have your leaders and teams thrive through this crisis.
It will also set you up to underpin the new models of leadership required to lead in an agile and digital way of working in the future.
We’ve seen organisations struggle with agile transformation because they have missed setting new core leadership competencies beyond the technical skills of doing agile.
Course is launching next week.
Apply now to be part of the live offering.
Need help now? Let's coach you through it.
Our senior team can jump on the phone or zoom and help coach you through these challenging times. We can also support you with some tools and resources.
Thinking about your broader team?
We have a live, online program to help build the human-centred leadership capabilities in your team at times like this. Supported with an online community and resources.
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