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How to Lead a Team in Uncertain Times

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The last few years have been such a roller coaster of crises. From a global pandemic to turmoil in Europe, we have become no strangers to the unknown. This has left most of us feeling like we have no clue what to do or how we can help.

Even if your workplace hasn’t been directly affected by world events, they still can impact the mental health of your employees. So, how can team leaders support their teams in moments of uncertainty?

Stay Consistent

If anything, the last few years have taught us change is inevitable. However, followers look to leaders as a source of unwavering stability. It may be tempting to go along with the rest of the world and make more changes, but consistency is key during uncertainty. Adding an additional layer of change will just increase levels of stress in your teams.

Affirm your mission and vision, staying true to it. Agree to a shared goal, communicate it clearly and move forward in a targeted direction. Flexibility may be necessary to accommodate your team’s needs, but how you lead your team should not change.

Grow Your Knowledge

Do your research. Stay generally informed of what is happening in the world so you can help make sense of it for your team if needed. Media is wonderful in providing information, but information overload can be overwhelming, especially when the media also provides conflicting viewpoints.

You can also empower your team to grow their knowledge by encouraging them to do research of their own. Having a clear idea of what is really going on in the world will help to put minds at ease.

Breathe and Take Care of Yourself

It’s natural to want to go into hyperdrive to fix every problem but as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” This is just as true in your professional life as it is in your personal life.

Studies have shown that leaders who are healthy and happy are more likely to have followers who are as well. When leaders are self-compassionate, they help others to do the same. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles with your team members. Allowing them to see the human side of you will increase the likelihood that they’ll be transparent in their communication and increase their trust in you as a leader. Use this time of uncertainty as an opportunity to grow yourself and your team.

Learn the skills you need to be confident in your leadership. Explore American College of Education's fully online MBA in Social Impact and M.S. in Organizational Leadership.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.

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