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March 23, 2020 / Blog / Mariposa Articles

Six Keys to Leading in Crisis

by Barbara Baill, Executive Coach, barbara@mariposaleadership.com

Leaders have an increased responsibility to lead during times of crisis and this current COVID-19 crisis is certainly one of those times. We have identified 6 C’s as keys to demonstrate your leadership today.

Calm

In any crisis, we look to our leaders for signals that we can either, get through this, or on the other hand, that it’s time to panic (the boat is going down). It’s important, as leaders, that we project a sense of CALM – that we can get through this. This can have a huge positive impact on our teams as we focus on addressing the challenges we will face whether they are personal (how do I make working from home work for me) or business (how do we continue to produce, generate revenue, keep our business alive) in this time of crisis.

Connect

Connecting to your team is more critical than ever! Ensure that you are increasing both the frequency and amount of information you communicate to your team. Here are some ideas:

  • 5 minute daily huddles to check in with everyone
  • Virtual lunches
  • Slack or text channels that are focused on ideas for working at home with children, surviving social isolation, funny things that happen while WFH
  • Increase 1:1s, even for short check-ins at the beginning and end of each week
  • Increase overall business updates, new strategies, redirection of projects, etc.

It’s also critical that you are connecting with your peers and maintaining important relationships across the organization. We are all in this together. Reach out to your peers and colleagues to support them, share ideas for managing in this new environment, for creative ways to socialize where being isolated.

Clarify

Ensure that you take this opportunity to clarify the goals for each of your people. Are they clear on what needs to be accomplished by when? What, if anything, has changed in terms of what they are expected to delivery by when? It’s also an opportunity for you to take the time and space to reflect on your team’s mission and priorities. How might they need to change in this crisis? Is there an opportunity to refocus and/or reprioritize to increase your team’s impact?

Create

Crises are a time for creativity and redesign. Look for opportunities to be creative with your team. Hold a Zoom meeting with the team and use the Chat function to brainstorm ideas, whether about current projects or coping with the “shelter-in-place” challenges. Here is our Design Thinking approach to guide you (all practices can be adapted to videoconferencing formats).

Coach

It’s important to coach your directs, but during a crisis, it is even more imperative. Use this opportunity to reach out and coach your people. We have developed In-the-Moment Coaching that is highlighted by the RAR Model (Rapport, Assess, Reframe). Giving feedback and problem-solving with your team is a daily practice, and it’s also a great time to help each member of your team learn and develop.

Care

Most importantly, it is THE moment to show that you CARE personally about each member of the team. In your 1:1s, ask how they are coping with the crisis, what is most challenging for them, what are their concerns/worries. You don’t have to have all the answers, you just need to listen and ask if there is anything they need from you. This demonstrates that you care about them personally. As the crisis continues, we all need support. Reaching out proactively to your team, your colleagues, your customers is a key leadership role for you now. This is about leading with your heart, not leading with your head. Heart-based leadership breeds loyalty and commitment and is one of the most powerful leadership tools we all possess.

Finally, it’s also important that you practice SELF-CARE. As a leader, the demands on you escalate in crisis. You have your own worries, challenges and concerns. Ensure that you are taking time to rest, regenerate, and exercise. Find a friend, colleague, family member to co-support each other. You can only be your best leader if you are taking care of yourself.

To download a PDF of this article, click here.

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September 5, 2013 / Coaching Skills

Learn the Skills of “Assess” for Effective Leadership Team Development

Developing your leadership team is best done through effective and frequent coaching. We recently shared two ways rapport benefits leadership team development through coaching.  And establishing rapport is the critical first step in our In-The-Moment Coaching model.   So what happens next?

Understand the problem that needs solving.  This occurs in the “Assess” step in our In-The-Moment (ITM) Coaching model.  Here are three reasons leaders who learn the skills of Assess are highly effective at leadership team development through ITM Coaching.

  • They understand they aren’t on point to solve the problem.  Assess is exploring another person’s perspective on a situation in order to understand the current frame and uncovering the most important problem that needs solving right now.  Once it’s uncovered, the leader’s job is to help him/her arrive at a solution to address it.  This is “teaching others to fish,” which boosts the level of motivation, accountability, and engagement in taking action.
  • They open up thinking with strategic questions.  The key to successfully assess is through the use of open-ended questions.  Leaders who allow open-ended questions to emerge from a place of curiosity rather than a defined set of questions receive more information that helps them set the problem.
  • They pick up on nuances by staying present.  In Assess, the leader’s job is not only to ask questions and listen, but to notice how the situation is being described, the other person’s reaction to it and motivations.   Specifically, they are listening for specific word usage that implies constraints on thinking and views on others.  By staying present in the conversation, leaders are able to pick up on these cues, ask the right questions and quickly set the most important problem that needs solving.

Successful leadership team development through ITM Coaching relies on learning how to stay in Assess versus solving others’ problems for them. For more tips to help you do this and other how-to’s on ITM Coaching, download the free Executive Guide to In-The-Moment Coaching.

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August 30, 2013 / Coaching Skills

Two Ways Rapport Benefits Leadership Team Development

Want to get more from your leadership team? Then coaching effectively and often, especially with our In-The-Moment Coaching model, is an indispensable skill for you. Establishing rapport is a critical component to building relationships with others and it is a prerequisite for a successful coaching conversation.

Here are two ways rapport benefits coaching and thus leadership team development:

  • It creates trust and safetyRapport connects through “sameness” in language, tone and behavior, thus calming the mind.  Match your body language, voice quality, words and sense of urgency with that of another to establish this “sameness.” Strong differences in behaviors and speech can elicit a fight, flight or freeze response – not what you are looking for.  Instead, matching cultivates trust and safety so the mind is primed to explore ideas and solutions.
  • It requires your presence.  You have no shortage of distractions:  text messages, emails, people queuing up at your desk.  To further cultivate trust and safety, you must clear those distractions – such as silencing/closing your device or moving to a non-distracting locationin order to be fully present in the conversation.  Once established, maintain rapport in coaching (or any) conversations to maintain trust and safety, allowing the mind of your team member to open up to new possibilities.

Rapport is the critical first step you must master in a leadership team development skill like coaching.  For further tips on establishing rapport and other how-to’s on In-The-Moment Coaching, download the free Executive Guide to In-The-Moment Coaching

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