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  • Laila Datoo

How to set sail in a storm - leading your team by putting yourself first.

We're all in the same storm but we're all sailing different boats.

I'd like to share some thoughts I had on how we are navigating this current situation and how we can care for ourselves in order to best support our teams.

Everyone of us is experiencing the pandemic differently - different home schooling or childcare challenges - loneliness or isolation - ill health or worry for others.

It's one thing to be going through this yourself and entirely another when you're also responsible for leading a team or business and motivating and managing others.

So how do you navigate your own boat and also help your people sail theirs and weather the choppy seas?

My top 5 tips

1. Give yourself what you need first - take the time to understand what support and care you need and then give yourself that.

When you lead people you have a great responsibility not just to show up as a positive leader but also be a strong role model - how can you encourage your team to take care of themselves when you're not?

There are many ways to do this - take some time out and journal, meditate on it, try different self care tools or try something you've done before that you know boosts your mood.

2. Get comfortable with being vulnerable and honest - it's ok to say this is hard for you and show your struggles. We want to be managed by humans not robots! When others see your real life it gives permission to show their vulnerabilities too.

3. It's ok to say you need help - just like you encourage your team to put their hands up when they need support, it's ok for you to do the same. Whether from your manager, your peers or in your personal life. Asking for support is a show of strength not weakness.

4. Prioritise like the boss you are! Get super clear on what absolutely needs doing - for yourself and your team and only do that. It's easy to fall into overwhelm or try to do everything and please everyone - you'll be a stronger leader when you cut back and do the most important things first.

Today this could mean cancelling non essential meetings and focusing on one key task, something good for your mental health and home schooling. That's plenty!

5. Put on the best waterproofs you have, a smile on your face and get ready to enjoy the ride! Sometimes all we can do is allow the waves to carry us through the storm - smiling through it doesn't mean it's easy - it means we accept we're finding this tough and despite this, we choose to see the positives.

Any tips you have for leading your teams through choppy seas? Send me a message and share them with me- I would love to hear them!

Cover Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash


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