If we learned anything from Covid, it’s that we can expect Change & Challenges.
Sometimes BIG Changes & Challenges!!!
When these arrive at our organization’s doorstep, leaders need to step up. Following are three suggestions on how you can be a leader that serves as your team’s “thermostat” – helping to influence the “temperature” of your team’s response to a challenge.
*Normalize Challenges. Stay calm. You didn’t know exactly when to expect this or exactly what the challenge would be – but you knew that something would show up sooner or later. Saying things like “while this is unexpected, we will handle this” and “we have the talent to address this” can help lower the temperature.
*Frame the Problem. Gather the team as quickly as you can. First, what are the facts as we know them? No making stuff up or being overly dramatic. Then create a problem statement. Finally, start brainstorming solutions. Here is a blog about how to do brainstorming well and another about virtual brainstorming. If you have time, try to collect some data on your best ideas. If not, at least check with some people outside your team to get some feedback.
*Put a Clear Plan Forward. You know how to do this – one step at a time. A big challenge needs to be broken up into pieces. Make sure everyone knows who will do what – and that you are tracking this. Check in regularly to see how things are going and pivot if your plan is not working.
Being the “thermostat” is a frame of mind and a way of being. If you can stay calm and work the process, your team will emulate your behavior. You don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to facilitate your team to the solution.
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Trapani, G., “Three Ways to be the Thermostat,” Postlight online article.