1. Show Some Empathy: Everyone is going through the same thing and feeling the pressure. Acknowledge their feelings and right to feel that way. Be authentic about your own feelings as you confront these identical pressures. Help them to talk and identify rational options. Treat people as adults who are fully equipped to handle the truth. Keep them apprised of what’s going on and what you think is coming down the pike.
2. Remove Unnecessary Barriers: W. Edwards Deming said the workplace has many barriers that prevent good work and a leader has to find and remove them. Better use of time, productive meetings, flexible structures, and fewer rules are a good places to start.
3. Optimize Teams and Collaboration: There are many opportunities to use teams and collaborative arrangements to reach synergies not possible with individual efforts. These synergies can only be obtained when members work together and communicate openly and honestly about things that matter.
4. Use Technology as a Tool: Technology can be a power tool for handling massive data and informed decision making. However, over reliance on technology can be dangerous. Make sure people are aware of the available technologies and how to use them effectively.
5. Insist on Accountability: Hold everyone accountable for what they produce in terms of products or services as well as their impact on the environment. Adding toxins to the environment can’t be acceptable and it certainly isn’t inspiring.
6. Illuminating Feedback: People deserve an honest dialogue about where they stand and how they fit within the culture. That dialogue should also include their perspectives of the environment in which they are required to perform. When the discussion illuminates rather than critiques, there’s a higher probability for alignment and enrollment.
7. Make Time to Laugh & Celebrate: Don’t let the pressures make everything so urgent that there’s no time for friendly laughter or celebration of the little (or big) successes.
Mike Powell is the Vice President of Organizational Development & Training at the Powell Consulting Group. For more information on PCG’s professional development, coaching, and training services contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pcgconsults.com