Hope, optimism and belief in your team will get you through uncertainty as thousands of leaders prepare to go back to the office as the pandemic starts to lift.
The pandemic was challenging for everyone. Leaders now struggle to figure out how to lead people back into the office and back into a routine.
With a bit of insight, you can be the leader that helps people move forward after a time of a lot of uncertainty. Below are the most critical skills to lead people on post-pandemic.
Best Leadership Skills Post -Pandemic. To better prepare for the future of work, focus less on goals and more on positive momentum.
1) Relate to people's experiences.
People want to move on post-pandemic, especially leaders. Every leader wants their people to come to work and move forward. Every employee also wants to move forward.
What is challenging for most people re-entering the workplace post-pandemic is they don't know what to expect. Jobs changed dramatically in the pandemic ( working from home, more technology, less face to face conversation). Some younger professionals have no idea what a typical career or office setting would look like. Seasoned veterans will remember the way it was and may have a hard time adjusting to new norms.
The best leadership post-pandemic will appreciate and recognize people's diverse experiences. Leaders will do well to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and recognize how our new work environment has challenges. People have spent a lot more time isolated and will feel uncomfortable entering public spaces where face to face communication is necessary.
Approach every team member with compassion and kindness. In leadership, getting frustrated when your team is frustrated, never helps. It engages more people with frustration. People don't fake frustration; it's an honest and potent emotion. You can't just tell angry people to smarten up, and the negative emotion will vanish. Instead, relate to the frustration ( or any frustration feeling like anger, worry etc.), understand it and look for ways to help people feel better.
Post pandemic, as a leader, if you made it your only goal to help team members be inspired, people will move forward. Recognize the thing holding people back is worry and resentment. The only way to help teams move forward is for them to feel better.
Spend more time showing appreciation for each other, celebrating small successes, pointing out opportunities, appreciating your customers, recognizing your value, and looking out for potential. Keep your team focused on the good stuff going on, and when disappointing things happen, smother it with compassion, understanding and kindness until your team feels better.
As you do this, focus less on compelling any future goal or outcome and more on the good feeling your team has now. Team happiness is not a goal; it's a current moment feeling. This innate inspiration will gain positive momentum and move your team forward with a little bit of attention.
2) Move forward, not backwards.
A key leadership skill post-pandemic is to keep team members focused on solutions, not problems. Any steady focus on issues and challenges will deplete people. A leaders primary role is to keep teams moving forward, and teams can only do that when they see hope, opportunities and solutions.
Give teams direction and look towards what you want, not what you don't want. When problems, conflict or stress erupt at work, it offers you valuable information. It's nudging you to move forward. As a leader, keep your team focused ahead on where they are going.
3) Focus on Inspiration & New Ideas
The future of work evolves around innovation and insight.
You can't get fresh insight by looking at old results. Instead, give it over to hope, possibility and belief. These are feelings, not goals. They are your inner wisdom.
Rational thought is not enough to inspire. Those thoughts are recycled from previous experiences and marred with past results.
If you want the same results, that's great, but you need to imagine if you're going to go beyond where you're at now.
The surprising insight will emerge when you give problematic thoughts a rest and zoom in on inner passion.
4) Believe in your team.
Always focus on your team's strengths, not their weaknesses.
When people feel frustrated, the best leadership post-pandemic will appreciate team members who are going through a rough time. Next, immediately focus on their strengths. As you give attention to conflict, you are focusing on weakness, not strength.
As you go back to the office the best leadership skills post-pandemic will be the soft skills that make the hard stuff worth doing.