I came across this illustration on LinkedIn a few days ago. It claims to offer a fresh recipe for the mindset shifts required to transform organisations. It stimulated much thought and reflection about the practicalities of the ideas it imparted. While the best ideas are often simple, is this too simplistic? Does it ignore the realities of organisational and wider societal life? This is morphing at warp speed under the impact of Covid-19. What the end state will, no one is really sure.
Without doubt, change needs to occur. Are the alternatives so firmly locked at the opposite ends of the five linear scales? In other words, rather than “Yes, but…”, don’t we need a “Yes, and” approach? Walt Disney was alleged to answer questions by saying, “Yes, what if we did this…?”. By doing so, he responds positively to the principle of the idea while “reviewing and refining” it. This remains an organisation habit across the entertainment conglomerate.
Is the optimal case for organisational leaders to cultivate the cultural flexibility to display aspects of all the attributes of the labels? The article does not need to be read in one go. Consider each of the five “shifts” separately over their own mug of tea or coffee.
5 tips to help you gain more influence in virtual meetings.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the Leadership Coach. It won’t surprise anyone to know that, as for many others, the business model of my organisation has had to change radically in response to the pandemic. It takes up a lot of time!
I’m not the only one for whom this has been the most challenging period of their career. The myriad obstacles that we’ve had to respond to, many of which have no precedence have made it a sometimes exhausting, sometimes exhilarating experience.
As we now move away from the original crisis response and shape our businesses for the new and evolving normal, it can often seem like we know nothing. No sooner have we overcome one challenge but another rears its head.
Much is Still the Same
And yet…throughout this whole process, some things have remained the same even though we are doing them in very different ways. Most importantly we are still having to communicate. The medium might have changed but effectively showing up in front of stakeholders is as important now as it ever was. In fact, given so many businesses are having to fundamentally change their offer, it’s probably more important.
So what is the same, if the way we communicate with people is so different?
Simply put, it’s the need to influence and persuade. The irony that I’m witnessing is that, despite certain small efforts that we can take to make the experience of meeting us virtually so much more powerful and engaging for stakeholders, many people just don’t do it. The reason for this is that we’ve all been thrust into virtual/digital/remote communications without any real training or awareness of what makes the experience better for people.
I suggest a handful of things below that will immeasurably improve your ability to persuade and influence others, without even thinking about the actual content of your conversation.
The Covid-19 pandemic means supporting the basic and psychological needs of staff with a different style of leadership.
The effect of Covid-19 has invoked uncertainty over health, income, and indeed our very future. The effect of the pandemic means that normal life has been overturned. The metaphorical alligators are amongst us…
‘When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp’
Against this backdrop, leadership in companies has also been challenged. Guiding staff through uncertainty demands a radically different approach than leading in times of relative stability.
But recent experiences with clients have highlighted outstanding examples of managers and directors, by instinct, in response to Covid-19. They have swiftly adopted a new approach in the direction of their businesses and staff.
We try our very best to arm our children with tools we know they will need to live the best life they can, but we forget that life will present them situations where those tools might not do the cut.
Being responsible of a team, listening, allowing, guiding with the tools we know are the ones they need, prepares them to execute their job as expected and some may exceed expectations.
The tools you equip your team with, do not guarantee they are covered for all and any issues they will come across on their daily duties.
As a leader, allowing others to grow and discover what they are capable of during their own journey, will also show you that it is not just following check lists, or SOPs how things can be done. They might not fit the unexpected.
Living a global situation for which we were not prepared and for which tools were not given, we learn and apply as we go.
COVID-19 forced us to adjust to a new reality were creativity also flows, giving space to new tools we can now teach to others, both professionally and personally.
People will follow a leader they can look up to, but you must be open to do things without being prepared when the circumstances call for it.
COVID-19 has open my eyes to new faces of people I thought I knew and has also hide faces of those same people. Make sure you remain the leader others looked up to and followed.
Building Positive Working Relationships is about using your interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively and efficiently with key individuals both inside and outside your organisation.
Building Positive Working Relationships is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry!