Welcome to one of a special series of episodes dedicated to dealing with uncertainty.
The importance of building courage to lead from within when we are faced with a challenging landscape at work or at home.
In this episode learn the art of the NOW, THEN, WHAT and IF quadrant, reaching out to those who can help and making a game plan with communication and transparency.
If you are listening to me while you’re driving today, if you’re on the treadmill, or if you’re out working, or maybe you’re just sitting in the office and you’re having a nano-break, I hope you can find these tips functional and practical.
- Ask Questions
- Learn From Others
- Hold Space – Uncertainty is Not A Sign Of Weakness
- Keep Learning – Use Your Down-Time Wisely
- Reach Out For Professional Help
I’ve had a few of you email me and talk about coping with uncertainty – how to deal with life when you’re working on a project basis, maybe that you’ve started your own business, or you’re on a fly-in, fly-out or a contractor role.
With many of the workshops at the moment, especially in mining, oil/gas and tech we’re having some really big discussions about leading from within when work is on a contract basis and the markets are volatile.
- What do you do when you have your family and your friends asking you questions about when you will be back at work?
- Or you want to plan for your future, but you don’t know when your next pay check is coming in?
I want to give you a few of my coping mechanisms today that I coach a lot of my CEO and corporate teams on how we can navigate a chaos to calm. To make sure that you can go from survival mode back into that shift, of feeling in control in the driver’s seat. Understanding that there is a plan in place and there’s always a solution.
Let’s get started……
#1 Asking Questions is Not A Sign Of Vulnerability
Work with your teams or manager and open up the dialogue and discussion. Asking a question is a positive thing, it’s not actually a vulnerability.
Being inquisitive, wanting to come up with solutions, putting some ideas on the table or letting people know that you’re perhaps not in the most centred state, you’re wondering what’s going to happen on the next quarter or the next week or the next job’s coming in…. it’s totally okay. Hold your space, be practical and ask away.
#2 You’re Not The First Person To Experience This – Lean In To Those Who Have Been There Before
There are people that have walked that line with you as well.
There are people that have had loads of experience and probably sitting around the table from you that it might’ve been their job for longer that know exactly how it feels to have this feeling of anxiety and uncertainty.
Reach out, get some tips and tools and be proactive.
#3 – Uncertainty is Not A Sign Of Weakness – It’s How You Deal With It That Counts
First and foremost when you’re listening to this, uncertainty and anxiety are not a form of weakness. Take stock of the issues that are really bothering you and think about others as well who may be in the same situation. WRITE THESE ELEMENTS DOWN.
How much do we share?
I want to ask you, how well do you really know your colleagues and the people you work with and how well do they know you?
- Do you know what they worry about, what keeps them awake at night?
- Do you know how well their family is?
- Do you know some of the responsibilities and the pressures they have on themselves?
- Do you share any of those things with your direct team and with your friend as well, or are all the conversations on the surface?
In the lunch and learn sessions with my leadership groups and their teams – we discuss personal and commercial goals as an integrated element for success.
It’s a powerful and engaging state when as a team you can support each other. What ever role we have in an organisation or as part of an entrepreneurial team we are all leaders. Open up the conversation in a pragmatic and professional way, but don’t be afraid to show your personal side.
#4 Never Stop Learning – Use Down Time To UpSkill
One of the key areas in life is making the choice to do things – rather than feel “life does stuff to you”. So if you are waiting to go back out on a project, you’re in the middle of a merger and acquisition, waiting for a new client to sign up – or just building your business. Always use your time wisely.
- What can you do to up-skill.
- What valuable courses, technical certifications and elements can you bring in that will add value to what you do and who you are?
There are many free online training courses from everything such as leadership to social media.
Don’t sit around. Be constructive. Use any free time you have wisely. Get back in the drivers seat.
Ask around your peers, your manager or drop me a line in the comments section if you don’t know where to start.
#5 Reach Out For Professional Help
If the situation is really getting you down and you feel that you’re at a point with no way out, then please don’t ignore those signs. There are lots of organisations and available platforms you can go to such as Beyond Blue, Black Dog.
Most importantly, I think we all need to know that we’re not alone. Isolation is one of the biggest issues in dealing with anxiety and coping with uncertainty;
- feeling that you have to solve it all by yourself
- that you’re the only one going through this
- that if you show any kind of insecurity or vulnerability, that it could actually be detrimental to you, your job, or to your future
Check back to this great podcast with Joel Pilgrim from One Wave Is All It Takes for links on my website, where you can just have a chat with someone and figure out what the best course of action is.
Most organisations also have great support via your HR teams. It’s always worth asking and getting support earlier rather than later.
Even if you cannot tell your partner, wife or your team what is going on in detail – at least keep the lines of communication open. Regular chats, updates and honest conversation take people along with you on the journey and alleviate fear and assumption. Even if it’s no news – at least tell them that. Inclusiveness and transparency are key for building trust and it also takes you from defensive mode into be proactive.
On a final note – I use this mantra for all situations, big or small.
Think Like A CEO, Plan Like A Visionary and Act Like A Buddha.
Read more here how this can help take you from chaos to calm and be in charge of life a little more whatever your role. There is ALWAYS a solution. The 3 Dimensions of Resilience In Leadership And In Life
I hope this has triggered some solutions for you to cope with any uncertainty you may be facing. Please feel free to reach out if you need help deciding what next steps you could take to go from chaos to calm.
Yours in Vitality
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