How much do you share with your team? Not just your management team, but your whole team. Do they know how the business is doing in these ever-changing times? Do they know the truth or are they wondering what is going to happen to them and the company tomorrow?
As the leader of a team, a business, or a corporation, it can be hard to figure out what information to share and what to keep close to the vest. We all struggle when we might have to deliver tough news. It is always must easier to announce bonuses and successful milestones hit, but the hard truths must be shared as well.
We have to pass along accurate information. That is the job of the leader. This means that if the business is being affected by COVID or a general downturn in the market, we have to be honest about it. There are ways that a good leader can navigate bad news waters effectively. They are relatively simple and straight forward.
- Tell the truth – tell your team the truth as honestly as you can. If it is bad news, deliver it and give your team time to process it.
- Be ready to share your plan of action – After allowing the team time to process the information, be ready to talk about what you, as the leader, are doing to navigate the challenge. Outline your plan and how other teams are affected by it.
- Be open to questions.
- Share honestly as you answer those questions.
- Be open to changing directing based on your team’s feedback. You might be surprised at how your team responds to the news and the ideas they will present to you. Be open to those ideas or be open to explaining why that direction is off the table (for now).
- Keep talking to them when new information comes in.
- Do your best to practice empathy. It can be a scary time, and your people are looking to you for stability. Be honest when you are overwhelmed yourself. They will be empathetic to you and you can return the favor.