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Leading Through Tough Times

Most people will experience challenging times at some point in their life or career. Challenges can arise from many different factors. Sometimes we experience unanticipated circumstances, economic conditions, heightened market competition, or internal struggles.
It's important to remember that everyone goes through these tough times. Many successful people have experienced setbacks during their journey to the top. While common, it can be difficult to experience challenging times.
To make the process easier, here are six ways you can guide your team (and yourself) even when times are tough:
1. Show your team appreciation. Teams that work together during touch situations deserve appreciation. Make an effort to thank your employees every day. Try to find other inventive ways to show your appreciation, such as sending a handwritten thank you note or cookies. 
2. Keep your emotions in check. Do you feel worried about what the future has in store? Are you frustrated or angry in your current situation? It's important to know how to keep your emotions in check during difficult times. You need to maintain a cool and collected composure to keep your team and customers calm.
3. Address anxiety immediately. Your team is likely stressed or anxious about the uncertainties ahead of them. They may be worried about layoffs or the unknown future. These worries leading to heightened emotions and conflicts. It's important to address concerns or anxieties before they cause even more trouble. Be as upfront and transparent as possible.
4. Be proactive, not reactive. A passive "wait and see" approach is rarely successful during difficult times. Of course, there are times where you will have to wait and handle situations as they come along. When possible, it's best to be proactive, not reactive. Brainstorm proactive steps your team can take to improve. Don't fall victim to negative thoughts and outlooks at your organization. Use this time to encourage your team to rise to the challenge, not sit on the sidelines. Use this as an "all hands on deck" time for everyone to do their best to turn the sinking ship around.
5. Channel leaders, you look up to. Strong leaders are able to embody their heroes and lead teams like they have done it a million times before. Be patient. Listen to your team. Position yourself as a source of knowledge and support for your employees.
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is usually the best course of action for any scenario. You need to open about how the challenge is progressing. This flow of communication extends beyond your staff. Your clients, consumers, and stakeholders may also have concerns about the future. This is why it is important to communicate often. This communication could be daily or weekly email updates. You could also communicate with meetings or phone calls. It's key to communicate through any tough times you encounter.
Consider our 1-hour course, Leading with Heart: How to Build Effective Teams. This course teaches how to build and maintain an effective team.
This course and many others are included in the ProSolutions Training Annual Subscription. You'll have unlimited access to hours of online training on a variety of early childhood education topics for one full year! Learn more about Subscriptions.