Leadership in the face of COVID

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By Gayle Johnson

COVID has changed the face of leadership. Why? Because COVID has heightened the need for leaders to be emotionally intelligent. At this moment in time, it’s imperative for leaders to understand their emotions, how to manage them, and then how to show up in a supportive way for their staff. Here is what that looks like:

Communication – Keeping your team informed of changes is critical. Uncertainty is all around and if team members are not clear about what’s going on with their job or the organization overall, they may fill this lack of information with their own assumptions. This can create fear and anxiety and ultimately result in reduced performance. By providing real information, you fill the vacuum in which assumptions are made, while building trust and reducing stress. Transparency is more important now than ever.

Decision-making – Collaborating with staff and peers to make decisions is essential. These are unprecedented times and change is happening fast. No individual has all of the answers. When leaders reach out to a diverse group of people to engage in a collaborative decision-making process, better decisions get made.

Dealing with Difficult People – Engaging everyone with empathy is important. A difficult team member may be acting out of fear in the face of so much uncertainty. This is where empathy is a crucial skill for effective leaders. It’s all about listening to the person who is struggling, being able to sense what their feelings and values are, knowing how to acknowledge them, and using that information to help them to move forward.

Team Leadership – Galvanizing the entire team to lead collaboratively is pivotal. A leader does not have to lead alone! Understanding team members and knowing how they’re doing allows an effective leader to tap into how they want and need to operate during this time to be productive.

I am excited to work together in my four-week leadership course to define and dive into the challenges leaders are facing during COVID and beyond. Through class discussions and interactive activities, participants will gain and develop tools to help themselves and their staff operate as effectively as possible while supporting one another. 

Learn more about Gayle Johnson and her classes: Leadership & Management Series, Leadership & Management: Communication Skills, Leadership & Management: Dealing with Difficult People, Leadership & Management: Decision-Making, Leadership & Management: Team Leadership.

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Gayle Johnson