As a team leader, you have a responsibility to guide your team from panic to assurance — especially in challenging situations. That’s why they look up to you. Here are a few strategies to help you be the supportive leader they’re looking for.

In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.

Whenever there’s a bump in the road, team members look up to their leaders for assurance. During this uncertain time, you can provide support by being the calm voice of reason. Take initiative, and align your plans with your desired outcome.

Given all the changes that we’re collectively going through, this is the time for you to lead your team with confidence. You need to be able to support your agents so that you can push them toward success now and into the future. Here are a few things you should be doing.

1. Changing your mindset

We look at events in the world and say that the outcome was completely driven by the event. However, that’s not actually true. Outcome is more driven by the response to the event rather than the event itself. 

Your energy and your response dictate how the people around you respond. As a team leader, you need to be in an optimal mindset. If you’re not in an optimal mindset, you’re not responsive. Instead, you’re reactive. 

This means that your decisions will be based on fear, stress and negativity rather than ease and calmness. If you lose your power to impact an outcome in your life, you lose all power you have in the situation. So, how are you responding and showing leadership to your team? 

2. Building confidence

No matter how smart and skilled your agents are, if they lack confidence in the team or their work, they’ll always perform below their potential.

Building confidence requires real conversation, not recognition. It starts by understanding what’s really going on. It requires working a few levels below the obvious insecurity to understand what scares them.

Confidence stems from certainty in our approach and a trust in our abilities. Start building confidence in your team members by mentoring them. Delegate specific tasks to them that you know they need to work on. Focus on their strengths, be supportive, and let them know it’s OK to make mistakes.

The good news is that building confidence and competence go hand in hand. Confident team members are more likely to try new behaviors and approaches, which inspires creativity and leads to even more success. 

Confident team members can access the elusive “flow state,” also known as being in the zone. This is where they’re able to perform better while feeling more relaxed. They trust in their mastery of core skills and seek expansion without undue stress. When we’re in a “flow state,” we become up to 500 percent more productive and creative, and less stressed. 

3. Checking in

When we are faced with absolute unpredictability and uncertainty, checking in can be a saving grace for you and your team. A “check-in” can look like a team meeting, a one-on-one meeting or even a quick message. Make sure to document their feedback and thoughts so you can assess their well-being and revisit their states on a regular basis.

Focus equates to action. Cutting through the noise is part of the value of being in a team environment. We don’t have to get overwhelmed. We need to understand our priorities and focus on them so that we can win together.

Take this time to create opportunities for your agents to connect with one another and with you as their team leader. Whether it’s through a daily update call, a team text or a group chat (like on Slack), keep everyone in the loop, celebrate successes together and track your progress. 

4. Celebrating wins

Your agents want to feel valued and appreciated. Acknowledging hard work and success is vital in boosting confidence and determination within your team.

It’s crucial for you to always be on the lookout for wins, both big and small, and to celebrate them. Making this a regularly practiced event ensures your agents feel valued, and it encourages them to continue doing their best work and focus on their areas of improvement.

We recommend focusing on celebrating the wins you can control. During this pandemic, for example, we focused on celebrating our ability to move completely to the virtual space, adapt our sales process online and create a great customer experience, among other things. Make wins like these a part of your weekly team meetings and monthly reviews.

5. Nurturing your team

If you’re still working remotely, and you can’t see your team members in person, you need to tap into technology that facilitates remote interactions, like virtual presentations and video conference calls.

All agents have modern tools and knowledge at their disposal. Now more than ever, it’s important to use them, especially when communicating with your team. You need to nurture your relationships and ensure you can get as personal as possible without seeing each other face to face. 

Have weekly team meetings, use check-ins as a way to nurture certain aspects of your team member’s jobs, and ensure your team members know they can come to you for guidance.

If you use these five tidbits of advice to guide your agents right now, you will prosper and lead them into continuous and predictable success.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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