Everything is different, but nothing has changed?

Since the start of the pandemic, many leaders have experienced that their perceptions and ideas about their own leadership have been challenged or changed. Some leaders, however, have experienced that everything is the same. This is especially true in the consulting industry, where we for more than a decade have learned and gotten used to working remotely or in a hybrid environment.

Nevertheless, most leaders have experienced that the conditions for how they practice their leadership have changed. Some say for the better, some say for the worse.


Our followers still have the same needs

Regardless of our own preferences to practice leadership from a distance or in a hybrid setting, our followers still have the same needs, which you as a leader need to be aware of, i.e., psychological safety, clarity, motivation, sense of purpose and meaning, etc.

So, how can I as a leader make sure to fulfill these needs? Here are some concrete tips on how to go about it:

    1. Self presentations to increase psychological safety and trust
      Continue to get to know each other and create opportunities to solve complex problems together. Conduct self-presentations in the team, which can be done just as well remotely as during physical meetings.
    2. Representation
      Make sure that you and your team frequently revisit your shared goals and vision, so that no one loses sight of where you are heading. This should be done both together in a large group as well as in one-on-one meeting based on the employee's individual goals. Also, be sure to follow this up in a structured manner.
    3.  Sense of purpose and meaning
      As a leader, you have an important task to be a good "storyteller", i.e. telling stories about your business, its inspiring goals and the employee's crucial role in reaching set goals and vision.
    4. Motivation
      Have regular check-ins in large groups as well as in individual meetings. Talk about how you are feeling and what conditions are needed to create increased motivation.

Naturally, these tips are no different from what they were before the pandemic. However, what we have noticed from working with hundreds of leaders since the start of the pandemic, is the importance of working even more structured with leadership in hybrid settings.

The spontaneous and informal meetings have largely disappeared, which means that many things will no longer happen automatically. Therefore, as a leader, you need to be conscious and accurate about having ongoing dialogues with your employees. You need to book check-ins with your employees as well as your team on a regular basis. You need to be more available and approaching in your leadership. Partly to keep track of your employees, but also because many employees are reluctant to bother you through a phone call when previously they could just lean over the desk and ask a question!


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