Show off your leadership skills when things get tough!

Show off your leadership skills when things get tough!

Ever been in a situation where you are chugging along with your team to get all the work done by the deadline, and suddenly your manager announces that the deadline will be brought forward to the end of the day? And now your new deadline happens to overlap with two more, which makes you want to throw your hands up in the air an proclaim defeat.

Now, it would be easier to resign yourself and join the pity party, but why not try and be the positive one? You may not be in charge (yet), but now is your chance to prove yourself and show off your leadership skills!By staying positive and productive, not only will it make you feel better and more likely to get the project done in time, but you will be able to show off your leaderships potential. But how will you do this?

Release all the frustrations!

Sometimes, setting aside some time for everyone to air their grievances can actually help things move forward. Now, it may not be exactly productive to complain, but making people suppress their feelings and just power through can be unhealthy and more destructive!

So, even though you are not the manager, there is no harm in just suggesting that people stop doing what they are doing for the next 10 minutes and just vent about their worries and frustrations. This may seem like a long time to vent, but actually letting everyone get their frustrations out in a controlled environment can lead to more productive and efficient work as it would make everyone feel heard. This in turn should make them feel better and motivated to get on with the work. It may actually, also lead you to some answers which will help the overall project!

Honesty is the best policy!

Similar to getting all your frustrations out, it is also important to be honest. There is a fine line between being positive and just saying “Everything will be fine!” when you don’t believe it yourself. There is no point in sugar-coating how things have unfolded for you or for the group just for the sake of staying positive.

In fact, it is better to be honest and say to the team, “I am not going to lie, this isn’t ideal and I have a lot of other work on my plate to complete today in addition to this project. This probably won’t be the best assignment we’ve ever submitted. But our manager knows he changed the deadline last minute and I think we should all commit to doing the best we can with the time we have.”

By being honest, your other teammates will also feel comfortable enough to be honest, and by being transparent, you can figure out how to move forward together as a team.

Speak less listen more!

Studies have proven that teams that listen more, tend to be more productive. So next time your entire group is losing their cool, it is worth thinking about practicing ‘conversational turn-taking’, which means everyone can be say what they feel instead of just listening to one person give orders. It might not be the best time to step up and tell everyone what to do, instead you can act as a facilitator and make sure everyone’s heard.

When a bad situation is thrown at you by your manager or your manager’s manager, there is not a lot you can do. But there are always ways to help make life a bit easier for yourself and your team by stepping up and working towards the goal. This will without a doubt help people notice your leadership skills as you act like a leader in moments when it is needed.

tags: leadership, employee engagement, employees


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