As we adjust to our current landscape, how do managers help team members maintain equilibrium in unfamiliar times? My intention in this article is to focus on the benefits of honest, open and transparent dialogue and leading with powerful conversations.
It is well established that organisations are losing a large percentage of their leadership talent because they are not providing the context for most women to pursue a leadership career. So, what can they do about it? In order to promote women, business leaders need to apply a variety of tactics simultaneously.
You may have heard of the Imposter Syndrome. This phenomenon was first described in 1978 by clinical psychologists Patricia Clance and Suzanne Imes. It´s characteristic is a constant feeling of the lack of legitimacy and competence required to perform one's job. This feeling is accompanied by a sense of deception and the impression that, sooner rather than later, this lack of legitimacy will be exposed.
Its modus operandi is a negative cycle that tends to get stronger:
We are being confronted with change whether we like it or not. So what do I need to know to be able to adapt? I asked a number of my colleagues who regularly coach leaders and others to do exactly this and here are the points that emerged.
Being curious to get more clarity on what a resilient team looks like I asked a number of my colleagues who regularly facilitate team development and coach teams this question and here is what they answered.
Tsai Ing-wen (Taiwan), Angela Merkel (Germany), Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), Mette Frederiksen (Denmark), Sanna Marin (Finland) – lead countries that have controlled and managed the virus in the first wave of this pandemic. Yes, there are factors other than leadership involved, like a relatively high level of ICU beds in Germany that was constantly criticized as wasteful before the pandemic, but it does not negate the fact that the most successful countries in controlling the virus are led by women.
Patrick Lencioni highlights fear of conflict as one of the five dysfunctions of the team¹. Team members striving to preserve an artificial harmony avoid or only half-heartedly conduct discussions where important opposing positions or points of view require to be aired and worked through. When this happens it often results in inferior decisions or outcomes which can negatively impact the performance of the team. It also can provide a poor role model for other teams in the organisation.
The Covid 19 crisis has severely challenged the entire world and continues to do so. But it is only perhaps in the last couple of weeks that people are beginning to realise the enormous social and economic impact it will have on us all. It is widely predicted that the Covid crisis will herald a new global restructuring of the economic order. Capital Economics have estimated that the world will suffer a 15% drop in output whilst other research groups have suggested the figure could be as high as 20%.
In most countries the pandemic restrictions are now being eased to facilitate economic activity and work. It has been an unprecedented few months with some industries at a complete standstill, some doing work arounds and being inventive to keep functioning and some thriving are at least experiencing a surge in demand.
These are challenging times for any manager with disruption and uncertainty. In some cases even a question mark over the viability of the company going forward. This uncertainty is going to continue in the short to medium term and managers at every level will be challenged to develop contingency plans, rethink objectives, and adapt to the new circumstances while providing direction and support for their teams.