Mutiat Adebowale

Leadership Coach

Mutiat Adebowale

Mutiat Adebowale

 ‘Mutiat works with Female Executives and Business Owners who are frustrated, feeling they have no clear purpose and are struggling for recognition, or feel undervalued in their career or business. Mutiat helps her clients become empowered, inspired, and fearless Business Owners and leaders, by helping them master their habits of success, overcome lack of confidence and self-doubt, so that they can uphold their inner Power, drive peak performance, and build great teams that will allow them to glow, doing what they love.

Mutiat is the Lead coach/trainer at the Stress Free Executives Ltd.’

Leading with Resilience: Five ways Female leaders can effectively manage Crisis in the workplace

Could there be a better time to sharpen your resilience muscle as a female leader than during challenging times? Unfortunately, as the world battles back and forth with the dynamics of the global pandemic, increasing challenges emerge for organisation leaders in different ways, and as a woman in a leadership position, your challenges naturally multiply.

Women leaders have always been at the forefront of exhibiting resilience skills because it has always been a vital tool, not only for driving and sustaining successful leadership in organisations, but also due to the pace and intensity of women’s societal pressures, gender bias, the extra responsibilities in the homestead, including the emotional burden of household and family management that many women tend to bear.

We all know that the controversial position that women is placed in our societies have huge psychological consequences on most women which makes it even more challenging for women to emerge as successful leaders in the workplace.

If women are to continue to drive organisational change effectively without undue overwhelm and excessive strain on work life balance, particularly during a time of crisis, a few things need to happen.

This is because during crisis, everyone needs to be on board. This is the time when every idea is needed, and every hand will have something to contribute.

I realised this several months ago, when my former deputy manager went on a two-week vacation and I had to fill her space, which meant I had to deal more directly with the staff on the day-to-day work activities and for them, that meant the access to discuss issues they were uncomfortable to discuss when their team leader (my deputy manager) was around, with me.

Our discussions ranged from the discontent felt amongst some team members with the way they were being spoken at, to having to be assigned impromptu tasks they were not initially given and were manipulated into having to carry out those tasks.

This was a period that called for real restructuring, both in the way communication was handled between all levels of staff as well as a much-needed staff engagement strategy.

Hadn’t this scenario occurred and the restructuring put into work, the strain of the global pandemic on our organisation would have been so untold, because only happy and satisfied employees will endure the storm with an organisation when crisis strike.  With staff members working from home, others having to self-isolate, managing a robust team can only depend on the quality of interaction that existed pre-crisis. Which was why it was a window of opportunity for me, to truly understand how staff members felt, when given the listening ear they deserved.

Regardless of how skilled you are as a leader, or at best, tough skinned, you cannot go through organisational crisis on your own, only a great team with an efficient leader can. For that to happen, mastering these concepts will strengthen your resilience stamina as a female leader:

Build a team of people with whom you share common value: It is important to build a team, where everyone shares values that keep you together than divide you. This way, you will always work towards common goals, that will not only strengthen the dynamics of the team, but also propel everyone on the team towards greater personal and professional growth.

When team members work together, it promotes creativity and innovation and allows for great communication and collaboration in the workplace.

Develop a solid employee engagement plan: As much as it is important to engage staff in activities that make them perform at their best, it is also important to engage them adequately on the overall activities, development, and emergencies, happening within and to the organisation. This way, everyone stays abreast of what’s going on. Also, team members are more likely to stay connected and greatly engaged, if they understand the company’s mission, values, and goals and sometimes, challenges. It is your responsibility as a leader to ensure that your team members understand and stay aligned to the mission, values, and goals of the organisation and that will only be possible through your demonstration of clear foresight and direction.

Invest in the development of team members: It is important for employees to know that they are just not numbers added to the database of the organisation. They need to know that they are valued, appreciated, and are part of the organisation’s priority.  Investing in employees continued professional development and giving perks and bonuses or other valuable incentives go a long way in expressing that they are appreciated, and this will increase the chance of them, wanting to grow with the organisation.  

Adapt an inclusive Leadership: There is no doubt that a diverse team performs the greatest. This is because the various flavour of skillset, backgrounds, viewpoints, and orientation brings richness into the team and how it works and the results from such teams.

Largely, what determines how inclusive a team is, depends on how the leader manages the team. What leaders say and do makes an extremely great difference as to whether an individual feels included or not, and the more people can feel included within a team, the more they are able to speak up, connect with others and go the extra mile, which ultimately affects the overall organisational performance.

Ask for feedback and act upon it: Always ask for feedback from your team members and others that your role as a leader, affect and ensure to seek absolute clarity on the feedback you get. When you seek clarity on the feedback you get, it allows you to plan out clearer strategies to address them and get you set up to show progress in the affected areas in the future. Also, feedback allows you to work on structural and operational loopholes as identified not only by the senior management but also by other employees, including your team members. Take time to understand the complaints, pain and the compliments of the people who follow your leadership because this expresses that you care about growth and change which are the hallmark of great institutions and great people.

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