As a business owner and entrepreneur, you will experience leading your team in good times and bad. The bad times are when you prove your leadership skills.
In business it’s about re-confirming your vision and purpose, or your ‘WHY’ for doing what you do, finding out what their concerns are, acknowledging them and providing reassurance on how the business intends to proceed.
This can be done over a morning coffee break huddle or in an informal meeting if you have a large team.
The key to successfully delivering a positive impression is to have a checklist to follow:
- Prepare. In times of trouble and uncertainty, you’ve actually got to be preparing twice as hard [for a speech or presentation] as you might do when things are going well.”
- Be consistent. Before you chat with your team, sit down with your senior team members and agree on what you are going to say because the message has to be consistent.
- Communicate in person. Particularly in bad times, it is important to talk to people face to face. Don’t just issue an email.
- Show empathy. Don’t instruct team members not to worry. It provides no meaningful reassurance. Good leaders display empathy. They will acknowledge those worries and point out that they share them. That will often do a lot to reassure team members that ‘we are all in this together’.
- Be honest. Lay your cards on the table. Tell them what you do and don’t know. If there are variables or unknowns, you should acknowledge those. Chances are the team will know they are there anyway, but it’s good to hear them mentioned by you.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. It is important to acknowledge new information that comes to light in a developing situation, but don’t make promises you don’t know you’ll be able to keep. If a promise falls through, it really undermines you as a leader.
- Draw on past experience. Back up your statements with as much evidence as you can. Draw on past experience to highlight how you have previously dealt with similar challenges, or talk about the lessons you have learned from the way the situation has played out elsewhere, or for other businesses. Don’t just say what you think your team want to hear. You have to be honest with them, even if it’s something they don’t want to hear or that doesn’t fully answer their question.
- Keep communicating. The more people are kept informed, the less space there is for a rumour, gossip, and scaremongering. Communication has to be a continuous process. Update team members as often as you can, whenever there is news.
- Convey bad news in simple terms. If you have to convey bad news, keep it simple and straightforward. Use plain English so there is as little room for misunderstanding as possible, and make sure there’s no jargon in there.
There is really no better way to dealing with bad times but to meet them head on, review your purpose, communicate honestly with your team and work out together on how you will move forward.
Your team will be looking to you for reassurance, peace of mind and direction.
Need help finding your direction? Call us today on 03 5561 2643 or email email@example.com.
Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD
I love business and the ability to change people’s lives through them!
At Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD, we get up every morning to positively impact young families in business by making their businesses REALLY work so that we all make an even bigger impact together. The rewards that bring allow our team ('the fantastic five') to make small but powerful contributions to impact our local community, our country and the lives of those less fortunate around the world.
You see, something quite remarkable happens when we work together, for example, the gift of water is made when we prepare a tax return, the gift of a goat is provided when we help a new business start-up, the gift of shelter is forwarded when we organise a home loan. When we work together, we actually change the world!
I am a business development specialist with nearly 40 years’ experience, a CPA, an authorised representative of Avana Financial Solutions Ltd (Authorised Representative no. 231937) and a credit representative of Outsource Financial Pty Ltd (Authorised Representative no 396061). I have recently co-authored an International Best-Selling Book 'Legacy - The Sustainable Development Goals in Action' and in 2020 published my first book - 'Chasing the Dream! - How to Grow a Business in these Amazing Times', host a daily blog/vlog on our small business Facebook community group page 'Chasing the Dream, and with our Team run a monthly event for small business owners called 'The Chasers Meet-Up', where a guest speaker presents a topic and tips and strategies are openly shared.
In 2015, our business won the Change GPS International Member Firm of the Year and in that same year, I was a founding member of the Global Accounting Movement - Accountants for Good. We were recognised in 2016 by Steve Pipe in his international publication - The World's Most Inspiring Accountants and Featured in "The LinkedIn PlayBook" by world-renowned social media strategist and consultant, Adam Houlahan. In 2017, we were in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award for search4accountants, B1G1 Business for Good Top 100 Giving Businesses in the World and a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. In 2018, we were an Australian Accounting Awards Finalist in "Community Engagement Program of the Year", a Semi-Finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award', a Nominee in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'Regional Development Victoria Business Achiever Award', and featured in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award by search4accountants.