By: Rania Laing, President of the ICF UAE Chapter
There is another side to the current crisis that needs to be taken seriously. While the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) puts over 3 billion people under stay-at-home orders across the globe, anxiety, confusion and negativity have been spreading throughout communities. Focus has been on the struggles and difficulties rather than opportunities and success stories.
There is no question that the current situation is a challenging one, however, history has proven that out of every downturn there are winners as well as losers. Whatever your past business practice and philosophy, now is the perfect opportunity to learn from the great winners of commerce and reinvent your business of the future.
Use coaching principles and ethics to navigate the unknown
Coaching as an attitude is a great way that leaders navigate the unknown future ahead to redirect their teams in a healthy way. Establishing team and customer trust, continuous clear communication, employing a leadership style that is open, flexible and confident, and actively listening to both your employees and your customers. While coaching extends beyond these essential skills, reviewing how they are being practiced in your business will help during these times. They will start moving you towards success by developing a positive attitude and culture.
We are seeing a time of an unprecedented need for awareness of humanity and ethics that benefit the collective. The International Coaching Foundation publishes its core competencies as well as its standards of ethical practice. These are transferrable and provide a blueprint for any leader wishing to upgrade their culture in order to prosper. Currently, adherence to ethical standards is the only way to move forward through the unknown.
The importance of a learning culture
A learning culture is a mindful one. One that values the positive impact of actions, over blame. A learning culture finds meaning in actions and feeds insights forward to develop new ideas and strategies. Objective thinking relies on fact finding and precision, not subjectivity and hearsay. Many leaders are not aware of how they fact-find for decision-making, so this self-awareness is the first step.
Another effective aspect of a learning culture is its power to engage teams in problem-solving, creativity and innovative thinking. With remote working and daily distractions, inspiring your team into positive solution-focus means they are actively thinking of new things as they deal with homeschooling and multi-tasking.
It’s worth stating that additional stress de-activates innovative thinking. It’s a common misbelief that piling on pressure increases productivity, in reality, the resulting bio-chemicals cause the brain to shut down.
Coaching is one of the most effective and scientific methods in generating new, positive thinking which is how the most successful businesses are able to build resilience and come up with new solutions that help them bounce back. Combined with a learning culture, these ideas can be trialed and implemented quickly, with the least internal friction, moving the business to discover new opportunities.
Become the master of re-invention
The new leadership practices, learned and adopted now, can sow the seeds for exponential growth in the future. Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” This current situation has presented a great opportunity for us to adapt our mindset, embrace change as an ongoing strategy and develop ways that changes are continuously adopted by teams within the business. This strategic capability will enable the business to leverage change in a way that leads their market by creating new opportunities.
Many major big brands were born from war and crises, Gillette, Apple, Ali Baba, McDonald’s and Netflix to name a few. To quote another famous philosopher, Plato, who said “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Master these pillars and your business will be the master of re-invention with the ability to turn set-back into profit.