3 Ways to Stay Resilient During Times of Constant Uncertainty
Over the course of the last year and half, one thing that has remained a constant is the uncertainty. As soon as we think we have the pandemic figured out, a new curveball hits. Although this is to be expected when dealing with uncertain situations, the upheaval it causes can be a challenge – leaving us feeling ill-equipped, paralyzed, and just plain overwhelmed.
As a leader, people look to you for guidance – to know what to do and when to do it, and reassurance that everything is going to be okay. But with shifting advice from experts coupled with polarizing opinions, to say you have your hands full is the understatement of the year. Trying to navigate the health and safety of your employees with that of your business is a true balancing act, one that requires constant flexibility and resiliency. Even for the best leaders, this is not easy.
Yes, the vaccine brings promise. However, it has also brought a new round of confusion and disagreement. Thankfully, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine…but we are not there yet. So, as a leader, how do you stay resilient (again)? As they say in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”. Here are a few strategies to keep your head above water when it comes to this incredibly challenging, ever-evolving pandemic:
Embrace the Uncertainty
I know, that sounds crazy. Many high-achieving leaders ascended to where they are today because they are great at figuring out the hard things and knowing what to do. It’s hard-wired. However, the reality is pandemic or no pandemic, uncertainty will arise. And sometimes, we have to take a step back and embrace the mess with a growth mindset. Learning to be comfortable with not having the answers right away will ease your anxiety and help you communicate in a calm, authentic manner (which is what your team needs to hear and feel from you).
Seek Out Innovation
Some of the world’s most amazing inventions were born out of necessity, born out of someone being forced to think outside-the-box. Nobody wants the pandemic, but here we are. However, one beautiful thing that has arisen from this crisis is the opportunity to innovate. Businesses all over the world were forced overnight to rethink their models, take risks, and alter their way of doing business in order to survive. Shifting your mindset from one that feels stuck to one that feels excited to test the unknown will have you feeling more empowered and energized to handle the uncertainty around you.
Great communication really is the key to success. Choosing our words and timing is critical to getting our message across, rallying the troops behind a common goal, and easing fears during times of crisis. As always, the key to great communication is transparency. Resist the urge to swoop in and make promises that you may not be able to keep given the evolving situation. Be honest that you do not have all the answers right now, but encourage your teams to remain flexible – and to remember you are traveling this unchartered road together.
Staying resilient when it seems the world is stacked against you is tough. Leaders want to have the answers, but sometimes we just don’t. Making peace with uncertainty and embracing all the challenges that come along with it will help you lead more effectively. Above all, be honest. People will respect you for inviting them in on the journey – the good, the bad, and the uncertain.
Looking for more ideas on how to lead your team through uncertainty? Head on over to our website to learn more about Leadership Development for Team Building | East Tenth Group. If your organization is looking for a new perspective, I encourage you to contact my team and I at East Tenth Group today.