Top Three Ways Leaders Can Make Small Behavior Tweaks That Yield Long-Term Results

Today, we’re all being asked to adjust our daily behaviors. For many of us, “life as normal” was long enough ago that we’re starting to forget what “normal” used to be. The good news is that we get to determine what our new normal will be going ahead. We connected with leadership coach, Kim Laughlin from Cultural Apex Coaching again to see what types of behavior tweaks leaders can make today that will have a long term impact. Kim was able to suggest three focus areas:

Relationship Investments

Whether you’ve always been good at meeting your team where they’re at, or if you’ve previously been more inclined to keep strong boundaries, THIS is the time to get personal. Even if your business is miraculously operating exactly the same way it did in February, life outside of work isn’t the same it was pre-pandemic. For the majority of us, our businesses are operating very differently than they did before COVID-19 became part of our daily language. We could all use a little more reassurance and humanity in our interactions.

This is a time where managers and supervisors can really connect with their teams just by checking on how things are going. It’s been said that a person who feels appreciated is more inclined to do more than is expected of them. How have you made the members of your team feel appreciated? This isn’t to say that you should build relationships disingenuously out of an attempt to make those people do more. By investing in a relationship with your direct reports and colleagues you’ll getter a closer look at what you share in common and what motivates each individual.  Gaining this information will make it easier to discuss future projects and leverage the hidden talents that may not have surfaced when everything was “business as usual.”

Appreciate The Process

Results are the typical focus of business leaders.  We strategically work with the end goal in mind and want to have something to show for that work just as soon as possible. We all enjoy light switch impacts. Flip the switch and the change is made!

The re-opening of businesses throughout the country is going to take time. Even if your operation never closed, many of the companies that your supplies come from have had to close or alter their production. There will be a domino effect in the supply chain as more necessary products become available while more businesses are making purchases of those supplies. You may be ready for your staff to have face to face meetings with your outside clients as soon as the executive orders are lifted in your state, but the businesses that your clients are from may institute a waiting period before they allow such meetings.

Today’s pandemic has been a significant life lesson in managing what we do have control over and accepting what we do not have control over.  Some of your team members may still be struggling with that concept. They are going to follow their leader’s expectations for results. If you communicate that the expectation is “business as usual,” your team is going to assume that you’re looking for the same results that happened before the pandemic began. Help your team understand that the process will take time and that there is value in the process being done right – not just fast.

Incorporate The Quick Fixes That Worked

Kim reminded us to take time to evaluate the ways that we have problem-solved in recent weeks to determine if any of those short-term fixes are worth keeping as part of our “new normal” for business. Did your team use video conferencing for internal purposes only before the pandemic?  Maybe over the last few weeks, you’ve seen more of your clients by reducing travel time and hosting video conferences with them. Some businesses may determine that there really isn’t a NEED for face to face meetings, while others will discover that there are fewer meetings that require everyone to be in the same room.

Did you have to adjust work shifts in the last few weeks to employ safe social distancing measures? You may find that the 3rd shift that was added was a more productive process than you had initially planned and worth continuing.

While the changes that we made during this pandemic were done out of necessity, it is up to company leaders to determine which changes produced a value that we want to take forward.

Questions leaders should ask themselves right now | Watch this short video to see the questions Kim wants leaders to ask themselves now to make a big impact later.

Results Take Time & Investment

Anyone who has started an exercise program or changed their diet knows that making sweeping changes all at once rarely produces the long term results we were hoping for. Conversely, making small adjustments each day is where positive habits are built and endure. Try focusing on these three behaviors that you can tweak now so that you and your team can enjoy the long term benefits that will follow!