The Three “Be’s” of Empathetic Leadership in Stressful Times

Being a leader was never easy and in times like these, the leadership skills of higher-ups are put to the test. As an employer, manager, or person of authority, it’s your job to bring your team together and maintain the fluidity and position of your business as much as you possibly can. And with a global economic crisis on the rise, the best you can do will be the difference between bankruptcy and making bank.

The first thing you have to do – before reading this article or phoning an employee – is to take 15 minutes to calm yourself and breathe. Relax. Your team members and employees are counting on you to make calculating decisions and not only that, but they are also looking to you for guidance, leadership and believe it or not, assurance.

Here are three simple tips to keep in mind in your next Zoom meeting.

Be Communicative

Too simple to be true, but yes, as trifle as this may sound, communication has become more important than ever before, especially in times like these. The Vice-Chairman of KPMG China Andrew Weir emphasizes this and even mentions it first thing when addressing the topic of Leadership during the outbreak.

Always make yourself available to employees in order to address their issues and concerns. They need to hear what you’re doing to manage the impact the crisis has made on their working lives and the current market. Let your employees know that you haven’t gotten sucked into the panic caused by the pandemic. Suffice to say, it’s equally important and your responsibility to direct your employees to reliable sources like WHO or the CDC for straight-up facts about the virus.

There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to communication in these times.

Be Adaptive

The pandemic hasn’t only kept people from going to work, but it has also left families with no choice but to pull their kids out of school and no other options for childcare. This unexpected turn of events could throw even the most composed of us for a loop.

A 2020 Employee Care Report by Limeade, a company providing employee engagement and company culture solutions, shows that 1 in 3 employees have left their jobs because they didn’t feel their employers cared about their wellbeing.

With that said, it wouldn’t hurt to relax your policies and guidelines a little and allow your employees more space to manage their personal lives. Being rigid, stiff and stubborn about your work policies will only make your employees more resentful of you and decrease their motivation.

Be Optimistic

Things are changing fast and the way all companies are beginning to work can be disorienting, not to mention disheartening. It’s easy for anyone to lose sight of what’s important during stressful times like these and just give up, so this is where you, the person in charge, jump in and change that.

Instead of focusing on the problem, focus on the solutions. Instead of scolding your employees for not working fast or hard enough, express your gratitude and appreciation towards their efforts. Adopt a more positive mindset and instill that in your employees; that we’re a team and we will all be able to tackle this issue, as long as we work together and do the best we can.

The future is uncertain. The state of the economy is not looking good. It’s okay to be afraid but you have to step up to the plate and keep your cool. While it’s incredibly hard to do, believe in your abilities as an employer or manager and continue to do what you do best: lead.