5 skills your leaders need to tackle uncertainty in tough times.

Improve performance, progress careers

The UK has faced numerous government changes of late, and with the country officially in recession, there’ll be plenty more to come. Recently, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced his autumn statement, a plan which maps out huge changes for businesses. So as industries brace themselves for what’s next, now’s the time to upskill your leaders.

Although there’s no hiding from the challenges ahead, there is room for optimism. Here, we’ve outlined five key skills all leaders should have to prepare for the coming months.

1. Communication

With plenty of anxiety and uncertainty on people’s minds, clear communication provides team members with much needed clarity. What’s more, a leader’s communication with their team could heavily influence their motivation levels going forward.

If they’re on the same page as their people, working together in tough times becomes simpler. Not only does this increase their chances of meeting goals and targets, it also means that when problems arise, they’re easier to tackle and overcome.

Nonetheless, good leaders must go beyond communicating their agenda effectively, and ensure that they’re listening to what their teams have to say. This is particularly important, as people’s anxiety is often heightened when the country is in recession. It’s a good idea to increase the level of ‘listening time’ you spend with your team.

2. Trust

Transcending the lines of clear communication, leaders must demonstrate that what they’re saying is both honest and reliable. Those who already excel in their position will have worked on creating trusting relationships with their team. But during periods of uncertainty, stress and anxiety can make individuals difficult to galvanise.

For businesses to overcome this, amongst other challenges, leaders must demonstrate that they can be trusted and offer transparency when possible. People prefer to hear the honest situation rather than the optimistic one.

3. Resilience

Resilience in business has been a popular topic for the past three years, and will continue to be a skill that’s required from leaders in the near future.

Whilst leaders should already possess a certain level of resilience, they must go further, and help the organisation to arm itself against upcoming challenges. Part of this is a leader's ability to anticipate and adapt to change.

When managers and leaders are able to embrace change, and make alterations if necessary, they place the company in a stronger position to overcome difficulties.

4. Flexibility

Another skill that business leaders are no stranger to is flexibility – but now they must be ready to talk the talk, and walk the walk. Good leaders should be flexible in numerous ways, whether that’s adapting to their employees’ or customers’ evolving needs, or to economic changes that they didn’t see coming.

After all, flexibility often feeds success. Not only does this translate well for employee balance and drive motivation amongst teams, it’s key to navigating certain changes, like consumer demands and the economy, whilst adapting to other global situations.

5. Delegation

As time and resources undoubtedly become more precious for a lot of companies, effective delegation is really going to matter. Why? Well, by handing over tasks to others who are more skilled to carry them out, or who have more free time, leaders can make their teams more efficient, and further develop their skills, too.

Initially, delegating can be difficult to master. But in the long run, those who have been delegated to will become adept at these tasks, giving leaders the freedom to take on other responsibilities. Plus, it’s a great way to exercise and establish trust within a team, as leaders demonstrate that they can rely on others to support them.

Prepare and train with BMS Progress

During turbulent times, investing strategically in your workforce can make all the difference. BMS Progress has years of experience upskilling and training leaders and managers across a wealth of sectors.

If you’re interested in developing your management team, why not explore our Level 5 Leadership Apprenticeship? To find out more, get in touch with us today.

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