4 Steps to Get Your Team Onboard After A Crisis
When the tidal wave of the pandemic hit, like most leaders, you were required to batten down the hatches, seek cover and safety for your team, and ride the wave of uncertainty.
What did your team do? They looked to you for direction and assurance.
After a crisis, whether your business rode it out somewhat unscathed or you had to scramble to throw non-essential products overboard, an unprecedented time requires leaders to stay steady at the helm.
The focus at the beginning of a crisis is to assess and stabilize. It requires rapid-fire data gathering and quick decisions. Experienced leaders have bifocal vision and they think, “What do we need to do right now and what are the implications to our future vision?”
But let’s face it, a major crisis will challenge the strongest of leaders.
Regardless of the stage you are in with managing through the crisis, it is critical to pay attention to your team throughout the journey. You know that your people are your most valuable asset. Without your people, is there a business? Even with this belief, it is not unheard of for leaders to make assumptions that their team members are weathering the storm well.
So, how do you know if your team is weathering the storm and is fully onboard to move forward?
FOUR STEPS to Take Following a Crisis: This can make a critical difference to the future of your team and your business.
1. Start with a self-awareness check!
Strong leaders know their strengths. They are keenly aware of their natural tendencies – under stress or normal circumstances. They are comfortable to share with others what they are working to improve. They have a standing request to others to give them input on how they show up.
During a crisis mode or time of great change, you can learn a lot about yourself if you are open and intentional about it. Clarity about what you are doing well and how it serves others is tantamount to leading yourself and your team forward!
Some key questions to get you started:
- What are one or two new things you’ve learned about yourself in this environment?
- What excites you about the future of the business? What concerns you?
- How will your excitement or your concerns serve you in leading your team forward?
- In which situations do you sense you are not at your best as a leader? What does improvement look like in those situations?
- Who can you count on to give you honest input about your leadership? What is in your way of enlisting their support for your development?
2. Outline the business impact from your team’s point of view
You have insight into the business that your team might not. Vice versa – your team has insight that you don’t. The point is, don’t assume everyone has the same understanding about how your business has been impacted by the recent environment. Have a learning conversation and explore the facts together!
Questions to explore with your team:
- What do we each see as the impacts to our business, big and small?
- What do we make of these impacts as it relates to the future of our business?
- Which of these are exciting, and which are concerning, and why?
3. Explore lessons learned
Discussing lessons learned helps put people into a mindset that is focused on possibilities. This is effective in a group setting and in a one-to-one conversation. You can set the tone for this conversation by sharing something you’ve learned about yourself from your Self-Awareness Check. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable – it builds trust!
Questions to explore with your team:
- What have you learned about yourself during this time?
- What do see as key lessons learned for our team?
- How will that new perspective help us moving forward?
4. Chart a new course with your team’s input
If you are ready to reset strategy, or reshape the vision, engage your team before deciding. Gaining their input (hopes, dreams, views of the business, perspective on customers) will undoubtedly generate new thinking. It will help them move past the crisis, build a sense of optimism, and increase their commitment to the future.
Be creative in how to engage their input with questions such as:
- What are you hearing from our customers that indicates what we need to change?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would our future products be?
- What do you see us doing really well? What are we lousy at doing?
- What makes you feel excited about the future of our business?
During a crisis, you might think because you and your team are in the same storm, you are moving together. These four steps will help to ensure you are actually in the same boat and ready to set sail for the next leg of your business journey!
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