MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you lead a team during a time of transition? is written by Angela Dorn, chief legal officer at Single Stop.
Transition is an innocuous word that may encompass a variety of situations. Some transitions we plan for, others we don’t. Some transitions are welcome, others are not. In my experience, whether the transition is planned or unplanned, good leadership during a period of change means focusing on the end goal and getting the entire team onboard. More often than not, transitions feel like chaos, which is probably the most difficult state to work in. Here’s how leaders can clear the chaos and set the stage for success.
In my experience, leaders need to speak frankly and frequently, so that the intentions for the transition are understood by the entire team. It is important for employees to understand that management is not acting in an arbitrary or capricious manner.
Focus on the end goal
Repetition is key. I constantly remind my team of our long-term goals in order to minimize confusion during the short-term. As a leader, it’s critical to remain focused while also maintaining an open door to employees. Individual employees may have their doubts and speculations, but it’s my job to make sure our efforts don’t get lost in the noise.
Keep an open mind
Employees will always have questions and comments during periods of substantial transition. The easiest way to alleviate their anxieties is by providing updates as often as possible. Your staff should feel free to express their feelings, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. In fact, your team may offer useful suggestions that you never would have thought of.
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