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How to Keep Your Team Unified During a Global Pandemic

As a leader, it can be overwhelming to stay calm and positive during a universally stressful situation such as a global pandemic.

Between the contestant worrisome headlines and working remotely, it can be difficult to maintain positive morale and keep the lines of communication flowing.

To help you navigate these unprecedented times, we will present six easy to follow tips on how to lead by example and keep your team strong and unified, no matter what challenges you may face.

6 Tips to Help Leadership Prevent Workplace Disputes

1. Applying Empathy And Understanding To The Needs Of Employees During Times Of Insecurity

It’s no secret that this pandemic is increasing people’s anxiety and stress levels, whether its fear of catching the virus itself or uncertainty regarding the economy and employment status.

With staff cooped up at home and unable to practice normal day to day activities, now more than ever, companies should be directing their efforts towards fostering their employees’ well-being and overall mental health.

One way this can done is by encouraging your team to practice mindfulness. This means focusing your attention on being fully present in the moment.

You can help facilitate this by offering tutorials or webinars or simply sending out emails to your team with positive and motivational messaging and encouraging self-care.

Consistent and clear communication about health risks, preventative measures, and available resources is another way you can help ease any fears within the workplace.

2. Frequent And Effective Communication Throughout Remote Work

Technological advancements with digital communications have made working remotely the new normal during this pandemic. But even still, computers and smart phone’s can never fully replace good old fashioned face to face communication.

Reliance on email and instant messaging tools, in particular, can lead to miscommunication, anxiety, and conflict as words and tone can be so easily misunderstood.

Therefore, it’s incredibly important to maintain regular face-to-face communication using video conferencing tools like Zoom to help keep your team focused on priorities, prevent miscommunication, and ensure that there is no room for misinterpretation that can lead to unnecessary conflict.

3. Being Attentive To Early Signs Of Conflict And Recognizing Disputes

Without having your team working together out of the same office, it can be difficult to pick up on signs of tension or conflict. Disputes are happening over email or instant messaging, and staff may be reluctant to report these issues to upper management over worries of misinterpretation.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you are in tune with your team and pay close attention during video meetings and other forms of communication in order to spot and recognize signs of tension early on so they can be addressed before a dispute occurs.

Listen carefully and try to tune in to changes in people’s tone or the way they are conveying their point. If you can sense that something is off, arrange a one-on-one chat with that person to ask them how they are feeling and seek clarification on certain issues that may be causing discontent.

Even if you aren’t able to recognize these signs, having regular one-on-one check-ins with your team will help you recognize if something is amiss and come up with an appropriate solution to ensure your team feels heard and supported.

4. Approaching Delicate Situations with Respect And Mindfulness

When it comes to conflict, it’s important to approach these situations delicately and with care and respect. It’s easy for staff to feel like they are being singled-out or backed into a corner, so it’s important to be mindful and practice active listening to hear all sides of the story.

Rather than using accusatory language that can lead to anger and defensiveness (i.e. “You are being difficult,” “Why did you do that?”), insert yourself into the conversation by making blame-free statements like “I sensed that a point you made yesterday may have come across to others as intimidating” and “I am trying to better understand your perspective.” This allows you to take ownership of your thoughts and feelings while disagreeing in a respectful, non-confrontational way.

5. Taking Extra Steps To Align Your Team To Be Resilient, Productive, And At Peace

Working from home can also lead to dips in productivity levels as staff struggle to focus with so many distractions and a lack of support to hold them accountable. Adding to the frustration could be uncertainty regarding the status of certain tasks or projects and not knowing who’s in charge of what.

As a team leader, it’s important for you to take the reins and steer your team in the right direction so they can achieve peace while becoming more resilient and productive.

Whether it’s through daily reports or video call check-ins, it’s vital that team members remain connected and in sync to ensure all objectives are met. Having a strong digital organization system that allows your team to keep track of hours, along with all project communications, can also help immensely with this.

6. Transforming This Crisis Into An Opportunity For Innovation And Creative Problem-Solving

During any time of crisis, it’s important to look at negative situations in a positive light and turn lemons into lemonade.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a world of opportunities for innovation and can help you discover new ways to make your internal policies and processes better.

One idea is to set up a business continuity plan to ensure that your team is prepared and has all the proper tools and resources to set them up for success while working at home should another crisis strike.

Also, look for opportunities to fix cracks within your internal processes that were made apparent by this crisis and look for ways you can strengthen communication and relationships within your team. But don’t just tackle this alone – talk to your team to learn how you can best meet their needs and be open to suggestions for changes that can be made.

While this global crisis has shaken up the way we work and communicate with one another, by working together, your team can easily overcome these challenges and avoid internal conflicts and disputes by practicing communication, empathy, and mindfulness.