Great managers focus on people, not money. Those were the words of Steve Jobs. At a time of crisis, like we are facing with the coronavirus, a manager’s authenticity, ability to empathize, and flexibility is what separates her from the pack. How well you handle anxious and stressed employees and uncertainty in business will be the barometer of your skill and talent. We’ve listed a few quick tips to help you be a good manager during this crisis.
Take Care of Yourself First
The golden rule in survival is, “save thy self.” You can’t help your employees or save a sinking ship when you are injured or dead.
Your team members are always looking to you. How you act, feel, and portray your emotions will influence their take on the current crisis. Take time to settle your anxieties, reorganize your schedule, meditate, and get help. The team relies on you for composure and direction. But remember to be authentic and human. It is okay to be affected and feel stressed and anxious.
Prioritize Human Connection
Have regular face-to-face meetings with your team members. But the current crisis limits our ability to do that. So, schedule a video call, or pick up the phone and have a one-on-one conversation with your team. Get to know how the crisis is personally affecting each member and offer your support.
Some will take your offer with open arms. Live up to your promise. Others may not be so quick to open up to the manager. Give them space, but let them know you are there.
Leadership is always about making decisions. Your survival, as well as the company’s, depends on courageous and decisive acts. Indecision will be your Achilles. So be bold and make informed decisions.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are common especially at a time of crisis. In case you make an error, the mark of a good manager during a crisis is the flexibility to back up, change course, and move forward.
Continuously Review the Crisis and Its Impact
One of the most important steps you can take to become a good manager during a crisis is to stay informed. Use the information to continuously reframe the crisis, and be flexible. What you thought was peripheral yesterday could be crucial tomorrow. If new information and analysis suggest that you should review your original plans, review them. Develop a process to help you to be informed, assess the situation, and reframe the crisis continuously.
You must constantly communicate with your team and other stakeholders. But don’t overburden yourself. Delegate this role to a competent team member and ensure the information emerging is honest, transparent, and consistent.
Help Your Team to Prioritize
Due to the anxiety and stress a crisis brings, people often deviate focus on other matters. Sustaining production is often not a priority.
If productivity dwindles, counter it head-on. But be supportive and help your team to find creative solutions by asking these questions:
- How would you like me to help you meet this goal?
- Are there alternative ways to achieve this goal?
- If we move this goal, how will it affect us?
The crisis is also an important opportunity to rigorously prioritize. Together with your team, figure out the most important tasks, and focus on them. Leave the less essential tasks.
Recognize the Team’s Input
At the end of the day, make time to express your gratitude to the team. Remember, you can only be a good manager during a crisis if your team is good.
Finally, don’t forget to include this success in your resume. You can work with a team of professional CV writers at Executiveone.co.nz to showcase just how a good manager you are during a crisis.