Leadership Tip 6 for Managing Difficult Times

This is Leadership Tip 6 of 7 Leadership Tips for Managing Difficult Times.

Be a Sounding Board for Those Airing Grievances, but Re-Direct Their Negativity

A leader who is open, up front, available, accessible and communicative does incur some inherent risk. The honest and forthright leader may become a target for all sorts of negativity during difficult economic times. That should not come as a surprise, as most humans feel compelled to share both good news and bad news in equal measure. But the confident, assertive, and compassionate leader has an almost innate ability to redirect that negative concern into a productive response.

Active listening always includes careful consideration but also includes perceptive follow up questions. Any employee bringing a grievance surely has already considered a coping strategy. Invite the employee to share that strategy, evaluate its possible implementation, and if it is not viable, ask that same employee to develop an alternative. Encourage them to solicit input from others in their work group in order to develop consensus. Their efforts toward reaching consensus will illuminate the difficulties in making large groups happy, as well as create some group synergy that may feed the ultimate solution strategy. The passionate leader will have empowered others to directly impact their work group and will have given an important voice to a previously disenfranchised employee.

To listening,


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