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During times of uncertainty, people look to the leader to take their cue. As you know leadership is about leading the people; we are nothing without them. In Rishi Sunak’s inspirational speech on Friday 20th March 2020, he reassuringly addressed the basic needs for many and the nation heaved a sigh of relief.
Motivating people in unprecedented times
In this blog, we are stepping back to basics, to what is quite possibly one of the first models learned in any leadership role; Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Take a look at Rishi Sunak’s speech and you can see strong alignment with the two basic levels of need. This model is a perfect reminder to us about how people are motivated and that many of the people you lead may have dropped at least a level, or maybe more, down in terms of meeting their hierarchy of needs.
In the last week, your people will have found themselves unable to purchase basic items. No one needs to hear the words ‘loo roll’ and ‘pasta’ again right now, do they?
People are in differing places, for example;
So, what can you do as a leader?
Put yourself in their shoes and consider the questions that sit behind the first 3 elements of the Hierarchy of needs;
1. Do I have shelter, food, water and somewhere to sleep?
2. Do I feel safe and secure both physically and financially?
3. Do I feel connected and that I belong?
As one of the best leaders, you can provide reassurance where you can and even when you can’t, you’ll be being open and honest with authentic compassion.
Remember that no communication is communication, so regular updates, even if those updates are confirming that nothing has changed, are important.
People want and need to see and hear you right now. You’ll be bringing these leadership skills with you;
- Emotional Intelligence
- Authentic leadership
If you find yourself asking what you could be doing, here is a suggested plan of action:
- Create an authentic vlog – personal, quick and easy to distribute.
- Send a follow-up e-mail to each person, re-iterate your intention, integrity and maintain consistency.
- Allow people to be okay with where they are, offer support services, create connections and keep the communication going.
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