Leadership and team development opportunities after massive (and unexpected) business disruption


How to lead through disruption; building team growth and development

Business disruption affects us personally and professionally and offers the opportunity for review and innovation. We often associate the word ‘disruption’ with negative consequences when, in fact, it can also provide opportunity. How will you use the current highly disruptive situation to enhance your leadership skills with a view to re-energise and reengage with your team?  Let’s take a look at the before, during and after.

Take a short pause for reflection; what was your leadership and team dynamic like before the pandemic?

How were you as a leader going and how was your team doing before the pandemic forced us to change how we work together?

  • Was there any conflict in the workplace?
  • Were there routines or processes and procedures that didn’t make sense?
  • Was there energy in the team?
  • Was there apathy in the team?

Take some time to review how things have been working during isolation, social distancing and work-from-home arrangements

You may have been working with a smaller team but with the same workloads. Or you may have been working across teams or with a new team where another leader was unavailable.

There may be different attitudes among your team regarding how well they have embraced the new working arrangements; some may find it challenging whilst others find it refreshing.

Think about how you have coped and managed a remote team and engagement with your colleagues.

  • Have there been employees who needed very little supervision or contact?
  • Have there been employees who required more of your time and engagement?
  • Did productivity drop or did it improve without the usual in-office interruptions?
  • Did you seem to spend more time on AV meetings?
  • Have meetings been productive?
  • Have you or your team members struggled to separate work from home?

What do we do to take the good from these new arrangements and leave the bad?

Leaders need to plan how they will reengage their team once they begin the return to work.

  • Will they all return to the workplace at once?
  • Will it be a gradual return of team members?
  • Will working arrangements be the same?
  • Will your business needs be the same?
  • Will employees’ needs be the same?

Communication is key to a successful return

Once your team is back at the workplace, take time to facilitate team discussions on how people have felt about the isolation and acknowledge where the circumstances may have been challenging or have created levels of trauma for employees.

  • What did they find most enjoyable?
  • What did they find most challenging?
  • What did they find helpful?
  • What did they think might need changing?

These conversations can provide you with information and insights on where and how you might take advantage of the disruption to change and improve processes.

Allowing yourself to spend time gaining insights into how your team (and you) have coped or been challenged, will provide an opportunity for you to build a stronger team with trust in you as a leader. Team morale is improved when people are afforded an opportunity to contribute to their workplace, especially where innovation and change are concerned. 

To access support, conflict coaching or help for yourself or your team, contact Blackforrest Consulting for a complimentary “Make the most of opportunity” discussion as you prepare for the end of restrictions and creating a new normal in your workplace.

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