LEADING IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
Every hour is a new development in the world currently. It’s a perfect example of a VUCA world - volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguity. Holding the space for the inevitable hard decisions and holding the space for people is the complex work of the ferocious warmth leader. Leading with head and heart.
SEE THE OPPORTUNITY - we are more adaptable than we think
I worked in Christchurch after the earthquakes with community services. The topic we were working on wasn’t related to the earthquake, but on how organisations were aligning their technology strategies to their major strategic direction. The earthquake was the major topic of conversation though. The biggest take home for me discussing the devastation of the earthquake on the community was the fast uptake of the aged care nurses in putting their file notes digitally instead of writing them down. They were kept in the cloud rather than down the bottom of a filing cabinet. This cohort can sometimes have the label of the 'slowest to change', yet here they were, rising to the occasion and the urgency.
BE CALM, CLEAR and CONSISTENT
To quote the very quotable Brene Brown: ‘Clear is Kind, Unclear is Unkind’
Even in uncertainty we can be certain about a number of things:
- What we do know and what we don't
- What we are doing and what we are not
- How we will be constantly keeping people in the loop
- How we are here to help
Keep communication calm - over-reaction is a heated response to the unknown. Keeping our cool in stressful environments is critical to being balanced.
ALLOW PEOPLE TO LABEL THEIR FEELINGS
By doing this, people can down regulate the impact of their emotions. Research by neuroscience and neuroleadership expert Dr Matthew Liebermann and his team from the University of California has studied this phenomena using fMRI machines that track bran responses.
When identifying and labelling our emotions, their research shows that we can reduce the response to negative images of the limbic regions of the brain and the amygdala.