How to be a Strong Leader During Times of Change
It’s no secret that a lot of companies and organizations are going through big changes right now. Staffing shortages, supply chain crises, and conflicts between generations are making waves in the workplace.
If you are in a position of leadership, you’re definitely feeling these impacts.
So what can you do about it? How can you maintain your strong leadership skills while your company or organization is in a state of change and transition?
As a leader at an online school and a leader in my own organization, I have dealt with this issue firsthand. Here are my biggest tips on how to continue to be a strong leader during times of transition.
Communicate Your Vision
As your company grows and shifts, it’s possible that your vision will change. Avoid conflict by being very clear about the upcoming changes and explaining why you’re making them. This will help your team members and employees understand why changes are being made and eliminate unnecessary anxieties.
However, communicating the vision once is not enough. Be sure to talk about it often so that your team members have many opportunities to process the changes and ask questions that may pop up.
Provide Support to Your Team
Providing support should be something you’re doing anyway but even more so during times of transition and change. Strong leaders build strong teams through open, honest communication and empathic listening.
If your company is facing a transitional period, be sure to increase the amount of support you’re providing by offering regular opportunities to share information and answer questions about the change, such as through 1-1 meetings and group sessions. Make sure you express a desire to understand the anxieties and fears your team is facing because of the transition, and provide them with numerous learning opportunities to adjust to their new roles, learn the needed skills, and truly grasp the changes being made.
Be the Change You Want to See
How can your employees and team members understand how to accept the change if their leaders aren’t modeling the new behavior and vision?
Model the new behaviors that you’re expecting and do it with a positive attitude!
During meetings, ask positive and thoughtful questions about the transition and what to expect, share all of the insights you can, and demonstrate a willingness to try new things, open the lines of communication, and make adjustments on your team when necessary.
Demonstrating appreciation and gratitude toward your team members is something you should also be doing anyway, but you’ll want to increase this during times of change.
When employees feel appreciated and included, they are more likely to accept your changes in stride. Take time to recognize those who are working hard to support the transition and encourage others to do the same. The more you appreciate your employees, the more they will appreciate your leadership.
Fall Back on the 3 Cs
When in doubt, revisit the 3 Cs of leadership: Communication, Collaboration, and Commitment. Through open communication, welcome collaboration, and a commitment to both your company and your colleagues, you’ll be more likely to achieve a successful transition.
Being a leader during times of peace is hard but being a leader during times of transition is even harder. The success of the transitional period will depend on how effective you are at leading your team through the process.
When you keep the vision in mind, communication open, and your employees understand how much you appreciate and respect them, you will likely be successful at transitioning your team through your change. In the end, your company will have improved and your leadership skills will have, too.
If you need some more personalized guidance on how to support your team through your transition, please reach out. I have helped organizations get through difficult times of change and would love to do the same for you!