Helping Managers and Leaders Cope

Most of us are slowly but surely getting used to working on unpredictable ground. The current economic situation is unprecedented.  Did you know that?  Of course you know that. How many articles, posts, or speeches start with basically the same sentence?  Ok, so we know it already.  What we want and need to know is how we can help our managers and leaders survive and add value to our organizations during these challenging times. If we are still working, most of us are left with small budgets and few resources, but goals that still must be accomplished.  Here are five tips to pass on to help managers and leaders cope.


1. Learn to Manage Yourself (or Stay Cool)

The stress threatens to bring out manager’s and leaders’ worst personal qualities – our shadow sides, our fatal flaws- that are usually under control. Who is the hardest person you will ever, ever have to manage? You. Take a lot of deep breaths and keep smiling.


2. Be Authentic

Speak honestly with conviction and help others see hope. The more you communicate openly, the easier it is for your employees to deal with all the changes.  The point is that employees need candid and trustworthy leaders now more than ever.


3. Give Feedback, Ask for Feedback

Many will advise you to hunker down.  Now is not the time. Coach your managers and leaders to apply their best influence skills to look for ways to help the organization improve its operations or expand its services. I work with a coach who gives out buttons that say ‘EVERYBODY NEEDS A COACH”. While you are coaching your employees, don’t forget that YOU need coaching as well.  Your own manager may or may not give you feedback, but you need to ask your employees to talk to you.  This will help you cope with your own changes and engage your employees as well.


4. Share Authority and Responsibility

Don’t micromanage. No, really.  Really do not micromanage.  Keep it simple. No, really. Keep it really simple. The current environment is so complicated and murky that the simpler and more focused you can make things for people, the better they will perform and respond.


5. Embellish Your Strengths

Go back and look over your performance reviews, 360 degree assessments, styles inventories or other feedback you have received over the past 2-3 years.  This will remind you about the things you need to continuously improve, but, most important – think about your unique strengths.  Keep these in mind and utilize what you are best at. This will help you implement the other 4 tips mentioned above.


Final Word

Following these simple steps, you can increase your employee’s loyalty and engagement.  People will be able to get what they need from you with ease and efficiency, and you will have a better time at work.  You may even have a better chance of keeping your job!

What other tips do you have for helping managers and leaders cope in this environment?

Barbara Healy