Motivating people in an economy that's highly unstable and perpetuates fear requires encouragement, optimism and honest communication. Companies in almost every industry are either feeling the tremors or getting hit head on by the financial power outage. The need for leaders to manage relationships with staff and clients is greater than ever and the following four steps can help you safeguard your business:
Practice emotional control. Client trust and employee loyalty are developed most effectively by those who can be relied upon to connect with others respectfully, timely and competently. The area where our thoughts and decisions filter through is typically emotional. And true thought leaders are able to execute at a high level because they can demonstrate compassion and understanding, while maintaining clinical objectivity. So, always stay cool when times are heated.
Provide frequent updates. Many executives create stress and resentment among those they manage because they don’t share company status with them. Designate time on your schedule to share information with your team. Include honest disclosures of what you do know, what you don’t, and what you can and can’t share.
Become an exceptional listener. Getting people to perform in tough times requires understanding. As a leader, you should encourage others to talk. Get your staff and clients to talk about themselves by asking open-ended questions. Also, when others speak, make sure to clarify what they just said. Accomplish this by repeating what people have said by rephrasing their message. This will keep miscommunication to a minimum.
Lead with (realistic) optimism. Leading in turbulent times can emphasize the sobering reality of negativity, anxiety and stress. Attitude and the behaviors that go with it are contagious. Leaders need to paint pictures that are reflective of the truth, but they must also speak about possibilities. Always remain optimistic and persistent in finding opportunity.
BIO: JOE TAKASH, author of Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit through People, is a business consultant and keynote speaker. For more information, visit www.joetakash.com or call (888) 918-3999.