Three Fundamental Leadership Skills
Many years ago, my family physician gave me great advice. To my question about how to get rid of the extra pregnancy pounds as soon as possible, he answered that it took 9 months for my body to gain weight, so I should give it at least the same time to lose it. I don't know if there is any medically proven rationale behind his advice, but it made a lot of sense to me.
Surprisingly, the same advice, I got from a wise doctor, can be applied by leaders in the post-pandemic life.
The end of restrictions doesn't mean the end of the pandemic's effects.
In the last two years, we went through the shock and pain of the first few months, trying to make sense of frantic changes. Then we moved on to the euphoria of working from anywhere wearing PJ, lost count of working hours and hit unprecedented levels of stress and burnout, and some of us now began a slow recovery.
It took two years to get to this point, and I believe it would be safe to assume it will take not less for many employees to recover and get their usual energy and productivity levels back.
Should leaders just give their people time and space to recuperate at their own pace, or should they try to help employees expedite the process?
It depends on the employee, as we all have different resilience capabilities.
Leaders with these three fundamental skills will be able to help their team members to recover faster and safer:
🔹 Empathy and boundaries. Being kind and understanding – is vital, but taking on your employees' responsibilities to make their life easier diminishes people's self-confidence and resourcefulness.
🔹 Coaching skills – now more than ever, leaders need to put aside their own assumptions, start asking questions and really listen to the answers. In this safe space, employees will recognize inner resources for growth beyond imaginable.
🔹 Vulnerability and transparency - if the boss is trying to stay cheerful and energetic every single day when everybody else can barely keep up with work – it's annoying, to say the least. Feeling frustrated or tired or not having all the answers is not a sign of weakness. It means being a human. And employees trust and support leaders that feel and behave more like them.