Well, your hair is on fire and your team members are looking for a steady hand and guidance for what’s next. Rather than standing there patting your head to put out the flames, here are three things you can do now to strengthen their ability to deliver. 

After talking with 20 leaders from many different industries in the past two weeks, here are three things they are doing now to become healthier and more expansive teams. You can do them too:

  • Manage you and your team’s mood in each interaction
  • Build self-accountability while you’ve got the chance
  • Reinforce trust in your culture

It sounds like a lot, but you’ve got this! I know you do.

Shifting Mood Micro-Actions

The first line of action is to manage your mood and manage the mood of your team. There are two parts to managing mood: internal self-talk (linguistic) and taking care of the body (pre-linguistic).

Do this in meetings and your team’s mood will improve:

  • Have everyone stand up at their desks as you start and end the meeting and take 3 deep breaths.
  • Start with good news personal or professional from each of you. Even if the news is a three-year old has been potty trained or an email was written error free, celebrate each piece of good news with golf claps or a collective hoorah!
  • Be optimistic with your talk of what’s next, not unrealistically positive, ignoring what’s going on in the world, but what you can actually get accomplished.
  • Encourage sharing of plans to take care of your bodies when you sign off: take a walk, do yoga, drink water, cook a nutritious meal.

You don’t have to know why this works, only that it really does. Two timely resources that take a deep dive into why it works and more thoughts on what you can do with this: Mood Management paper and Self-Mastery paper. 

Build Self-Accountability Now

Now more than ever you and your people need to be clear about what you are responsible for, own those responsibilities, and regularly communicate success in each role. 

First, get clear on what roles are being held currently. Think of a title as a name for a set of roles and a role as a commitment to hold an area of responsibility in the company. Each person likely will hold somewhere between 2-6 roles. 

For instance, a Project Manager might have the following roles in one company: 

  • Project Manager 
  • Estimator 
  • Detailing Support 
  • Project IT Support 

And these roles in another company:

  • Project Manager
  • Customer Liaison
  • Marketing Support
  • Strategic Marketing Resource

In a weekly huddle everyone reports on each of their roles, their metric for role success, and a declaration of success for the week or the issues they could use assistance with.

This will give the team a quick way of communicating status and promote self-accountability. Here is a template for a Role Responsibility Document an example.

Reinforce Trust in Your Culture

Trust as a quality seems like an elusive thing until you boil it down to the atom of trust – making a commitment and keeping it. What you can do while your hair’s on fire is be impeccable with your commitments and let everyone see this happen over and over. This is the action that builds trust. Whenever possible (email, phone meetings, video meetings) be transparent in what you are doing:

  • Get clear on exactly what it is you are promising, (completing the project status report)
  • Agree on exactly the date and time (not ASAP, not soon, not right away – but by day/time)
  • Commit out loud (Yes, I’ll do that, for you Jon.)
  • Do it!!

Super important here, if you know you can’t deliver… don’t commit!

The more your team sees and hears you doing this, the more they will emulate your behavior and trust you. Building trust doesn’t have to be elusive and it is simple. Here is a deep dive into impeccable agreements (Conversations for Action) and how building trust works.

Quick Access to Resources and Tools 

An open offer of help: please reach out if you have questions. I am here to serve.

Miche Rayment is the Founder and CEO of The Hire Effect™. Users of The Hire Effect system get access to organizational development experts to build high performing teams no matter what the market looks like. TheHireEffect.com