Self-Leadership is the ability to influence your thoughts and actions towards achieving a positive outcome or result.
It is just over two weeks since our world was turned on its head when the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Ireland, and since then the situation has accelerated, bringing restriction on social interactions. With every news report, the situation is evolving.
While working with one of my clients last week, his major concern was the lack of control he felt as this pandemic began to impact his business. He felt it was out of his control, and with that came panic, fear and overwhelm. Many people are having a similar experience right now, during these uncertain times. The response to this can range from, trying everything and anything to grasp back control, or alternatively doing nothing as you are frozen by the situation. Neither of these approaches are going to have a positive outcome. So, we got working on setting some structure on his current situation and bringing priority and focus to the areas where he had control and influence. I was dealing with a very different individual by the end of our meeting, from confusion and overwhelm to perspective, priority and planning.
If you are in a similar situation, you can achieve this too, and this is what I want to help you with today.
With all that has been happening over the last few days, there is increased pressure on everyone to adapt to new guidelines, while keeping each other safe, keeping businesses running and staying sane through it all. For most it is a stressful time of uncertainty.
When I am supporting my clients to deal with uncertainty, I like to give them frameworks to provide clarity and focus, to alleviate stress and overwhelm.
Recent events with Covid-19 are preventing people doing what they previously took for granted and are now struggling to find a new way of working. I would like to share 3 steps to help you focus during this uncertain time.
Step 1: Perspective: What is within your control?
Much of your focus right now may be on what you have no control over, however, you need to switch your thought process to where you do have control. You still own your intellectual property (IP), whether you are a service based business or sell a product, you know what you are really good at, how this supports your clients, and the results you enable them to achieve. This is your IP. How can you continue to support your clients who need you during this crisis? Ask yourself, what are your client’s biggest needs right now, and how can you adapt your service or delivery to support these current needs?
Step 2: Prioritise: Focus on what will bring the biggest impact
Once you have clarified what is within your control, you need to prioritise where you are focusing your time and energy to bring you the most positive and impactful outcome. Take time to communicate with your customers and stakeholders. People are looking for leadership, normality and hope, and through communication we can support one another where needed most.
Step 3: Plan: Structure your activities
When setting your goals and milestones for the short-term you need to plan for potential obstacles so that you are not put off-track or defeated when these obstacles are presented. By identifying these upfront, you can develop options and contingencies to bypass these obstacles when they present themselves. For example, in our current environment, social distancing is restricting people meeting face-to-face, which we previously took for granted. Is it possible for you to deliver your service online or through video conferencing?
Self-leadership will enable you to focus on what is within your control and it will empower you to adapt yourself and your business in the current environment. It is in your interest to invest your time and energy where you can have the most positive influence and impact, while supporting yourself and your colleagues to stay safe during this time. Above all, stay calm, stay focused, and you will be most effective while focusing on what is within your control. Together we are better at achieving a common goal, while keeping calm and in control. I hope this is helpful for you today.
Take care and stay safe.
About the Author
Anne Caulfield is an accredited Executive Coach and Leadership Coach, supporting businesses to develop high performing teams, that deliver higher productivity and results, using powerful principles that boost collaboration, engagement, motivation and career fulfilment in every team member. Anne also supports professionals one-to-one, to develop the influence and authority on a more fulfilling and rewarding career path, without the long hours and sacrifice.
Anne’s ability to enable insight, learning, and deliver results which are outcome and action orientated, makes it a transforming experience for her clients.
You can contact Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org