Leadership Effectiveness: Situational Dialogue

Leadership Effectiveness: Situational DialogueYou can be sure that each member of your team is being affected by the continuing pandemic, economic uncertainty, family and social disruption, and unasked for/unwanted changes to many activities, from shopping to gatherings with friends to entertainment to… you name it. Each team member, because of their specific circumstances and mental and emotional constitution, are being affected, and they are reacting in their own unique way. For example, some who were suddenly thrust into Work From Home (WFH) could not be happier, while others simply do not work well from home and are miserable trying.

One size does not fit all. An effective approach to figuring out how you can best lead each individual on your team is to first understand how each is personally and professionally impacted. Then consider what consequent unique needs are in order for each individual to be effective at work. Figure out how you can support each team member, and that will take both compassion and accountability on your part. While it may appear more efficient to support each person in a similar manner, the reality is that each person has unique needs. Addressing these unique needs with precision will allow individuals to perform more effectively at work and help them cope with the current externalities. By supporting each according to their specific needs, you will increase your impact as a leader and improve outcomes.

Here are nine questions that can help remove barriers to open communications, determine what help each individual needs, and open the door to discussions about well-being:

Removing Barriers to Open Communication

  1. What would make it easier for you to speak openly with me about how I can be helpful to you?
  2. Do you feel comfortable asking me for help or letting me know if I am not addressing issues that are important to you?
  3. What would you like to discuss with me?

What Help Is Needed

  1. What could I do that would help you better deal with the extraordinary pressure you are likely experiencing now?
  2. What can I do to create an environment that would help you be your best at work?
  3. What am I doing currently that either helps you or hinders you?

Vitality and Well-Being

  1. What am I currently doing that is helpful for your well-being?
  2. What circumstances might cause you to not discuss issues with me – for example, perceptions that I may be overwhelmed?
  3. Would you be comfortable talking about your own personal vitality with me?

Do you understand the differences and similarities among team members’ situational responses and needs? What additional questions might you ask to determine the best way to approach to each team member?

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