The Do’s And Don’ts Of Leading Through Difficult Times
“A leader is a dealer in hope.”
Sometimes, challenges arise within individual teams or organizations. Other times, external events can impact a team’s morale and productivity. Whether you lead a handful of people or a department with dozens or more, challenging times require strong leadership.
When going through tough times, Susan Fowler, bestselling author and CEO of Mojo Moments, has learned the importance of three words: hold your space. She says this means allowing yourself to experience the emotions you may feel but holding your space, so you don’t let outside pressure disrupt your inner peace.
Fowler says that it has never been more important for leaders to “hold their space” so they can help their teams stay resilient. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Fowler’s two don’ts and one do when it comes to leading with vitality through difficult times.
Don’t ignore the news. Many psychologists recommend turning off the TV or staying off social media, but Fowler says that sticking your head in the sand and waiting for the bad stuff to blow over won’t help. Leaders owe it to their teams to stay current on what’s happening in their organizations, communities and the world. That’s why she recommends engaging with current events in a proactively healthy way. Read or watch the news, accept the emotions and then let go of any negativity.
Don’t go down the rabbit hole. When bad things happen, you may feel a whole range of emotions that can zap your energy and make you less functional. Rather than letting all the negativity consume you, remember to hold your space. You can’t lead others out of the darkness of the rabbit hole if you, as the leader, are stuck in negativity. You shouldn’t avoid the news altogether, but you should responsibly pay attention to what’s happening.
Do seek mindfulness. Fowler says that mindfulness means being present with awareness and without judgment. This enables you to rise above typical patterns and knee-jerk emotional reactions. When you are mindful, you can often discover options for healthier and more productive responses. If the idea of mindfulness doesn’t appeal to you, Fowler encourages you to give it a try. Here’s how: Grab a piece of chocolate and savor it for 10 minutes. Research shows you can induce mindfulness simply by enjoying this treat with awareness.
During tough times, leaders can show their team the way forward. This doesn’t mean ignoring the bad news or letting the negativity consume you. Instead, it requires a mindful choice to observe, feel and then light the way for your team. Fowler says that transformational leaders are beacons, so hold your space and keep your lamp lit.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Susan Fowler, CEO of Mojo Moments, wrote the bestselling book, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work … And What Does: The New Science of Leading, Engaging, and Energizing.