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4 tips to lead through uncertainty and change podcast leadership coach anne koopmann

Ep004: 4 Tips to Lead Through Uncertainty and Change

Leading our teams through times of uncertainty and change can be challenging. As leaders, we might be going through the same doubts as our team members and not everyone will be ready for the change.
Gallup has defined 4 basic needs of your team that will support the team to embrace the change.

In this episode, I will share 4 of my top tips so you can feel more confident with leading through change and uncertainty.

In this episode, I talk about:

  • The importance of having strategies for self-management during times of uncertainty
  • Being authentic and honest during change while managing your emotions
  • Leading with compassion during times of change
  • Providing stability for your team members
  • Sharing positive thoughts and providing hope

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Scroll down for this episode’s transcript.
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[00:00:00] Hi, and welcome back to the fourth episode of the Lead Like YOU! Podcast. I’m your host Anne Koopmann. In today’s episode, I’m going to share with you four tips to lead your team through uncertainty and change. Let’s get started.

[00:01:28] When we think about leading a team through change and uncertainty, it’s really important that we acknowledge that as leaders, we also might be going through the same challenges that our team members are. We might feel unsure, stressed a little bit scared of the change. And also we might not know what to do or what to say. And that is okay.

[00:01:47]The thing is you don’t need to have all the answers. Your team needs clear direction forward and clear communication. You need to be able to make a decision, even though you might not have all the answers. But it is okay, if afterwards you change your mind and you realize that a different way, was the better way. Just share with your team and communicate openly why you’re making this change now.

[00:02:09]You can only make the best decisions with what you know, at that time. So, be gentle and kind to yourself when you lead through uncertainty and change. And another important aspect is your own self management and how you can motivate yourself when you go through uncertainty and change. Make sure that you have your strategies in place to control your emotions, and also motivate yourself and have a resilience support kit that helps you to get back up when things get tough. And then you can lead your team effectively through the change.

[00:02:40]Gallup has defined four key components, when we want to lead our teams effectively through uncertainty. And these components are trust, compassion, stability, and hope. Now let’s talk through each component and I’ll explain you a little bit about what it means and what you can do to provide that to your team.

[00:03:00]When it comes to change and uncertainty, it’s really important that your team can trust you. They need to know the real you, so be authentic. Don’t be afraid to be a bit vulnerable.

[00:03:12] It’s okay for you to also show when you’re not sure sometimes. It’s okay to say, I don’t know yet, but we will figure this out.

[00:03:19] The key here though, is that you do manage your emotions. So you don’t drag your team down. If they see you’re panicking, they will panic themselves. So make sure that you manage your emotions when they can’t see you so that when you then approach them, you can be the confident self.

[00:03:36]Of course you can mention that you also had moments where you weren’t quite sure, but share your strategies of how you overcame this and how you managed your emotions. That way you can use real stories from yourself to help them see how they can use these tactics for themselves.

[00:03:52]Make sure that you don’t wear a mask because trying to fake it, or wearing a mask – they will see through it over time and they won’t trust you. Make sure you deliver on what you said you would and make sure you communicate clearly on a regular basis.

[00:04:06]The second component is compassion and this is really important and this is where empathy comes into play. Keep in mind that driving people through change often means that they have to give up something that they truly care about. Either it is they have to give up what they used to know and what the feel comfortable with, or they have to give up their view and their opinion on what they think is actually best.

[00:04:30] So make sure that you allow them to process through these emotions, be there and listen. You don’t always need to fix them or find a solution. But just showing that you’re listening, that you care is really key. Going through emotions, when we’re going through change and uncertainty is normal. So make sure that you allow your team to process these emotions and coach them through.

[00:04:51]The third component is stability. And it’s so important that when we go through uncertainty and change that we have some stable component in our lives. And you, as that leader can play this very important role. Make sure that you are available on a regular basis. Have a meeting schedule in place, have regular one-on-one and team meetings, ideally weekly, make sure that they know when they get to see you.

[00:05:15] Keep a rhythm up of how you follow up on tasks, how you proceed and what are your standard procedures. Having this rhythm will provide a feeling of safety. And that feeling of safety will carry them through.

[00:05:29] It will keep them going and motivate them and make them feel safe to go with you and go through the change and take a risk

[00:05:36]And lastly, the fourth component is hope. When we go through change or uncertainty and even if we don’t quite know how things are going to end, we need to provide some inspiration and the path forward. Show your team, your vision, inspire them, share what you’re working towards to show them that there is a step forward.

[00:05:57] Show them what’s in it for them. Find ways to motivate them. What is going to be the great outcomes of this change? What is the good that we can see? Share positive feedback, share positive points and outcomes.

[00:06:11]Celebrate the success of the team along the way. Make sure that you provide positive interactions.

[00:06:17]So these are the four components that Gallup has defined to guide our teams through uncertainty and change. They were trust, compassion, stability, and hope.

[00:06:27] Keep in mind that as humans, we are very resilient and adaptable. We are able to adapt to the change and adapt ourselves to the new norm. Not everybody will get through the change successfully, but most people will. You can see it now with COVID-19 in 2020, we all suddenly had to work from home remotely, and a lot of things changed, but we adapted to it.

[00:06:51] Somehow we made it work.

[00:06:53] So humans can do change. So keep that in mind, but make sure that you play the real important role as a leader, by guiding them through the change. It takes a great leader to build a great team and to guide them through uncertainty. Use your compassion and empathy, and build real relationships and be there for them.

[00:07:12] Now it’s not the time to hide. You have to be visible. You have to be approachable and allow them to contact you and let them know when and how they get to see you.

[00:07:23] I hope you found these tips helpful, and I hope that something resonated and you thought a bit of inspiration and something that you can implement with your team. I would love to hear your biggest takeaway. So make sure you tag me on Instagram @annekoopmann_leadlikeyou. Share this episode with your friends and colleagues, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Until next time.