4 CARE Practices to Help Leaders Become More agile: Connect, Attend, Respect and Empower [#AgileLeaders]

1. Connect during crisis
2. Attend actively to your customers and your employees
3. Respect: Every employee matters
4. Empower teams and unleash their strengths

1. Connect during crisis
Under typical circumstances, connection with other human beings reduces stress, increases the sense of purpose and drives innovation.

When disruption reaches social contact, the role of the leader is to generate alternatives to facilitate the connection.

Define what the purpose of your team is (beyond being profitable, think long term here), discuss it with your team and make sure everyone understands how they connect their actions to that purpose.

Let’s say the goal is to give customers a unique experience.

Check with your team how each of them feels they are contributing to it.

Communicate with your team regularly and consistently, at the same time, to maintain a routine and ensure a safe space.

Invite all members to turn on the video and maintain eye contact as much as possible.

To increase engagement, reduce meetings to 30 minutes or less and invite every single member to speak up.

2. Attend actively to your customers and your employees
During a crisis, transparency is critical.

Feeling safe is a basic human need, and crisis challenge this need, especially if there is a lack of communication.

As a leader, take more the role of observer and help your team make up their mind.

Communicating updates is critical, but active listening is even more important.

Encourage people to share information by democratizing digital folders, documents and scoreboards.

Provide access to trends, customer complaints, and future trends so that your team is better prepared to make decisions.

Use pictures, images and videos to facilitate understanding.

Create a safe space to make mistakes.

3. Respect: Every team member matters
Facilitating means that you trust you team members’ abilities, respect differences and value their strengths.

The leader’s job is not to cheer up their team or tell them what to do.

The focus is more on building trust, provide support and offer flexible options that accommodate different needs.

As Covid-19 cases ramp up, empathizing with employees helps to figure out how to assist them.

Some companies that used to provide food in-company are sending food to employee’s houses.

Other companies, such as call centers, are providing flexible schedules.

Besides regular team meetings, do more frequent one-on-one sessions.

Especially when work is remote, feedback through email, or no feedback at all can hurt employees’ motivation tremendously.

Concrete positive reinforcement has to be continuous, while negative feedback has to be straightforward and provided sooner than later.

4. Empower teams and unleash their strengths
After some time working remotely, some people may have learned to work autonomously, while others may still be struggling.

During a hard time, leaders tend to micro-manage more than usual, but how do you micro-manage remotely?

Simple, forget about it.

Empower them instead.

Encourage associates to set up goals and to be owners of their work.

Create an online environment where people feel safe to provide updates, offer ideas and ask for support.

Make it more a pull system where they ask for help, not a push where you tell them what to do and when.

Making decisions during a crisis is like planning long term: everything is variable.

While you empower your team, they will become sensors to help detect and deal with issues in the future more quickly than if you had to do it all by yourself.

A new way of leading
During this crisis, leaders need to unlearn and learn new ways to CARE for their people.

Connect with them and their purpose more intentionally.

Attend more actively than ever to detect unforeseen issues.

Respect and value their skills, their personal needs and also their differences.

And last but not least, empower them to decide how to do their work remotely with less supervision.

It is just the beginning of a new way of leading.

4 Practices To Become An Agile Leader With A Remote Team

Don`t copy text!