Four things leaders can practice to keep their teams motivated amid COVID-19


By Ashu Khanna
Coronavirus has suddenly changed the global context. It is demanding leaders to rise beyond any identifications to serve humanity. Leaders need to focus on sustaining their businesses to ensure employment and divert their resources to serve the community. Below are some aspects leaders could refer to, to ensure motivation is high and productivity is not hindered.

Shared leadership
By trusting and delegating to their team, leaders can let go of execution and focus on such matters. Huddling with the team to assess availability of resources, possible options and constraints would help channelise the resources and identify alternate plans. Acknowledging the team and celebrating small successes will motivate and empower the team to take ownership for their deliverables. Therefore, peer style shared leadership would be more effective in a crisis.

The foundation of peer leadership rests on authenticity.
Authenticity requires leaders need to put aside their persona and connect at a humane level. By letting go of the need to control everything or know it all, and paying attention to capabilities, leaders can deliver productively and efficiently.

Agility and speed in decision making
Working with limited resources has created a need to prioritise and pay attention to what’s urgent. Since the situation is evolving rapidly, back up plans are much needed. For instance, many companies import products from China. They have had to look for alternate sourcing options to deliver customer orders to sustain the business. Also, decisions have to be reviewed more frequently as the situation is evolving rapidly. Therefore, speed in decision making has become more pertinent than perfection.

Communicate vulnerably and frequently
An inability to bond and work from office could threaten people’s sense of security, identification and belonging. While being cautious to stay physically distanced, leaders need to stay emotionally connected through empathetic and timely communication. By appealing to the human sentiment and expressing vulnerably, leaders will be able to garner their support and cooperation. Most corporates have been sending emails and connecting on zoom with their people to assure and inform them of the measures that are being adopted.

Focus on Well being
Chaos, uncertainty and information overload are reigning supreme. Meditation, yoga, pranayama, exercise, will help leaders to stay calm and anchor their emotions. By taking leadership of ourselves and designing a structure in this unstructured environment will help manage our wellbeing. For instance, keeping a specific time slot to check news and updates, carving out a physical area to work, enrolling the support of the family to get space to attend to calls and work, maintaining a disciplined schedule to exercise and take a break.

The author is the Senior Leadership Coach and CEO of Arka Capital Advisors.



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