A client called me yesterday. She was really hurting because of the low morale and the state of divisiveness she's seeing in her team, her family, her community, and the country because of the pandemic, ongoing social issues, and our current political turmoil. So we talked.
Given today is another day of spiking emotions with a potential second impeachment of President Trump, I thought I'd share some of what I shared with her.
Many are grieving
In addition to grieving over not being able to gather with loved ones for almost one year, many people are grieving because of the very visual images of what occurred at the Capitol last week. Those images cut many Americans to their very core.
When people grieve, they often go through several stages:
People have a need and a right to grieve. We, as leaders, do as well. This process affects us as humans and may well affect how we work. However, as leaders, we also need to provide a safe work environment for our employees. Safe work environments are those that are physically, psychologically, and emotionally safe.
This requires us to reiterate our organizational values, and clarify the need that we and all team members be intentional in our words and actions. We need to think before we speak to ensure we don't incite or rebuke the beliefs and emotions of our team members - because those comments will more than likely have nothing to do with the work we do but are only said to make ourselves feel better at the emotional and psychological expense of others.
One of my sisters-in-law specializes in counseling families in grief. She has shared: When fear increases, trust decreases. When trust increases, fear decreases. Maintain your team's trust by maintaining a safe workplace.
Let's remind ourselves and our teams today: Think before you speak.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
If you don't already have an EAP to support employees, it may be worthwhile to look into it. Among other services, EAPs offer free counseling to employees to help them work through issues so they are able to perform to their normal levels once again.
The Anger Stage of Change
Last March I shared with you how to lead your team through the 2nd Stage of Organizational Change as we all entered our 2nd and 3rd week of quarantine. Well here we are again. If you have team members who are angry about our current national situation, this information may help you again.
When teams are moving into or are in the Anger Stage, they need their leaders to commit more than ever to: be communicative, be present, be visible, be engaged, be involved in identifying and rectifying issues, roadblocks, and other work performance challenges. Teams in the anger stage are often angry because they’re scared, uninformed, and vulnerable to believing gossip and misinformation.
Here's a link to what I wrote last March: Can You Lead When Your Team is in Crises?
Good luck today, this week, next week and the several weeks to come.
Stay well -
Copyright MMXXI - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.