You may have built strong rapport and trust with your staff and stakeholders prior to the Covid 19 crisis, but things have changed.
During times of change and challenge, and especially when working remotely, leaders need to proactively rebuild trust in the new environment.
Whether consciously or not, staff members are continually asking themselves the following four questions:
- Does my leader know what they are doing?
- Do they have a plan?
- Do they really care about me?
- Are they being real with me?
And they will continue to ask these questions each time circumstances change. Be honest with yourself – somewhere in the back of your mind, you’re probably asking those same questions about your leader and the most senior leaders in the organisation.
Taken together, the answers to these four questions are what create ‘Leadership Presence’.
What are you doing to ensure you are answering those questions for your staff?
You can’t rely on trust and rapport built in the past – these are wells that need to be continually topped up. The usual organic ways that we show team members that we care, or that we know what we’re doing when we are in the same work space are no longer available to us. We can’t just pop by someone’s desk and ask how they are going, make them a cup of tea, or chat about concerns and ideas whilst waiting for a meeting to start. We’re no longer able to pick up the ‘vibe’ across the office if people are particularly stressed or excited by an idea. Nor are we able to step in to lend a helping hand. Don’t underestimate the power of these small gestures to build trust and create a sense of safety with your team.
Do you have a plan to pro-actively replicate or replace those organic moments by distance?
If not, now is time to do so. Now, more than ever people need a sense of safety in the workplace and they want to be reassured that you and the leadership team know what you’re doing, you have a plan, you really care about them and you are being real with them!
For more information about building Leadership Presence contact Justine Coleman at Performance Culture Consulting.