How Leaders Can Keep Their Teams Afloat Even When Motivation Is Thin

August 11, 2022

Overview: Leading overwhelmed teams through crises is a true test of leadership. Intelligent leaders strive to shine when their teams need leadership the most. By setting positive examples, leading from the front, communicating clearly, and encouraging collaboration, leaders can tide their teams through difficult times.

Leadership is about inspiring people and laying the groundwork for someone else’s success. It is about finding motivation when there is little to go around and making it easy for employees to do their work.

Intelligent leadership shines, however, when stakes are high, teams are stressed, and the consequences of decisions mean the difference between success and failure. Crisis leadership is difficult but potentially rewarding. People value guidance and leadership the most when they feel overwhelmed or lack motivation.

Leadership coaching aims to arm leaders with the ability to infuse their teams with motivation and direction in the direst of times. A leader should be a source of inspiration and motivation. At no other time do employees need their leaders to step into this role more than when they are psychologically and physically on the ropes.

How can you keep your team afloat with seemingly no hope in sight?

Focus on Communication

Open and honest communication is a powerful driver of trust. Stressed employees need mental reference points to create purpose and direction and focus their scarce energies on ventures that matter.

Open, honest communication creates such mental points of reference. Coupled with trust, it is capable of rallying even the most distraught and exhausted troops.

In an environment where open communication is at home, people are more likely to take the initiative and create mental clarity for themselves by asking questions, providing feedback, and discussing the real or perceived obstacles in their paths.

Setting Positive Examples

There is nothing more inspirational from the perspective of an employee than a leader who leads from the front. Executive coaching understands the importance of setting a good example. That’s why leadership coaching experts encourage clients to walk the walk and talk the talk.

People listen to their leaders if they trust them and comply with their guidelines and rules. They feel compelled to act seeing their leader spearheading the charge. Motivated leadership is highly contagious.

People don’t remember much of what they hear, but they remember almost all of what they see or do.

Encourage Collaboration

One of the best ways leaders encourage collaboration is by setting collaborative goals for teams. Collaboration brings people together in service of a common goal. Even when overwhelmed, people sense strength and support in numbers.

group having a discussion
Collaboration brings people together and energizes teams.

By collaborating with others, leaders set positive examples. Showing vulnerability and asking for help can be empowering during times of stress. It can relieve leaders of some of the burdens of leading organizations.

Setting Achievable Goals and Celebrating Success

Large, daunting projects can overwhelm stressed and unmotivated teams. The sheer scale of such an undertaking may nip any trace of remaining motivation in the bud.

Leadership coaching professionals like to break down massive, intimidating projects into bite-sized chunks. The same approach works well for keeping unmotivated and overwhelmed teams afloat.

By setting smaller, achievable goals, leaders give employees chances to taste success and turn it into motivation. By celebrating these small successes and communicating honestly, leaders allow employees to feel they meaningfully contribute to bigger, worthier causes. Smaller goals make progress measurable and more noticeable.

Defining Employees’ Roles and Responsibilities

It is impossible to muster motivation if you aren’t sure of your role or responsibilities. Leaders find it impossible to motivate employees that don’t understand their places in an organizational system.

To eliminate this pervasive drain on motivation, leaders should define their employees’ roles and responsibilities clearly and communicate them often. By defining employees’ roles and responsibilities, leaders find it easier to hold their teams accountable.

There is no standard recipe for managing stress and tiding overwhelmed teams through difficult periods of stress. Leaders should take the time to understand team members and devise custom approaches to crisis leadership. Leadership coaching can, however, offer guidelines and tips on how to lead when the consequences truly matter.

Contact us to learn more about how you can join the IL Movement as a coach or how you can benefit from partnering with us to bring IL Solutions to you and your organization.

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