Times of uncertainty are often characterised by circumstances beyond our control.
If you are in the Welsh public and not for profit industry and are waiting for the outcomes of the National Assembly elections in May, you may well feel anxious.
New governments mean new priorities and resource allocation – which can lead to redundancies, budget cuts and uncertainty.
Many of you are leading teams through these uncertain times, and your own job and role may look vulnerable. This can be very challenging. Often, productivity, morale and well-being plummet.
So, how can leaders help themselves and their team during uncertainty? Here are my three top tips:
1. Set up a thorough communication process
Rumours will develop quickly if there is a lack of information.
Communicate regularly, every week, or even daily, what you know and what you don’t know.
And when bad news breaks, don’t play God and hold back information. People will prefer to know the worst, than to find out last minute.
2. Acknowledge achievement and past success
You might not have a crystal ball, but you can see the past.
So timetable an event – formal and informal, where individuals and teams can be praised and acknowledged. These get togethers need to include reference to work well done, a shout out to proactive attitudes and the ‘personalities’ that keep everyone going through tough times!
You will find that acknowledgment will bolster confidence and resilience.
3. Make sure you’re supported
As the leader, people will be looking to you, as the calm hand at the tiller. But if, in the face of uncertainty the responsibility of others gets too much, then you aren’t going to be effective during this time.
Find people to support you. Talk to a trusted colleague, join an action learning set. You may want to consider using a professional leadership coach like myself – someone who is detached from your organisation and who you can confidentially discuss leadership approaches and techniques with.