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Jo Murfin is a qualified career and leadership coach working online and across Sussex.

Leading Differently

The New Future

We are now beginning a ‘new future’ rather than a return to the way we were, bringing a range of challenges for leaders and team members alike.

Expectations of what a good leader should be doing and how they should behave right now are high, adding additional pressure for already busy leaders and managers.  I have set out some tips under four challenge headings, I hope you find it helpful.


Consider these questions to help you to focus your initial thinking.

  • What did you start doing that should continue?
  • What did you stop doing that should remain stopped?
  • Are there any new things you could be doing?
  • What could you be doing differently?
  • Who could you collaborate with?

This works best when you involve your team members, peers and partners.  Their unique view will enable them to ask further specific questions as you move through the planning, reflecting and reviewing stages.

Working with Uncertainty

In uncertain times emotions are often a strong influencer on behaviour and teams look to their leader for direction.

  • Recognise and regulate your own emotional state.
  • Act with integrity to build and maintain respect and trust.
  • Provide clarity on the way forward and communicate this clearly so everyone can focus on the vision.
  • Acknowledge that everyone will feel differently and will work through the challenges and changes at different speeds.
  • Encourage people to talk about how they feel, really listen and support them.

A supportive environment will give people the confidence to move forward.

Opportunities to Lead Differently

Expectations to maintain or boost productivity, whilst leading compassionately, can be challenging.  Now is a good opportunity to build the consideration we are giving each other outside of the workplace into our leadership identity.

  • Be visible, available, empathic and authentic.
  • Seek fresh perspectives, collaborate in new ways and form new partnerships to shape your business going forward.
  • Give uninterrupted attention to ideas to promote creative thinking, motivation and productivity.
  • Nurture a learning environment and show your willingness to learn.
  • Ask for feedback, reflect before you react and be kind to yourself, you won’t always get it right.

It is possible to show both compassion and direction as a leader.  The Institute of Leadership and Management values show that there are many sides to a successful leader.

Working with Unpredictability

During these challenging times it is not always clear how things will turn out and we don’t necessarily have experiences to draw on.

  • Celebrate the achievements of others, which will boost motivation.
  • Show patience and understanding if productivity rates vary amongst team members as they work through the challenges.
  • Learn from what others are doing and share your learning so everyone can develop.
  • Remain flexible, keep an open mind and welcome change.

A willingness to regularly reflect, review, adapt and involve people will boost morale and improve communication for the future.

These are demanding times but also interesting times during which leaders can start to develop and build their own unique leadership identity to become great leaders of high performing teams in the future.

Check out my Leadership Coaching page to see the benefits of leadership coaching.

You can sign up to my newsletter here for tips to help you to feel good and focus your energy.

For more information on compassionate leadership the King’s Fund has lots of interesting articles.

See more on the Institute of Leadership and Management values here.