You wake up, turn on your computer, check your email and you know it is going to be one of those days in which every email is urgent, hard to solve or discouraging. Apart from that, the electricity went out and on the other side of the country, a translator that was supposed to deliver a file in 15 minutes tells you that she has no Internet connection and you receive a Whatsapp from one of the PMs saying “I cannot open Studio”.
What a day! And it is not even 8 a. m. ! Where should I start?
Find below some tips to avoid collapsing:
- Stop and think possitive: Although it is hard to believe, it is very important that you stop for 5 minutes. These will be the most effective and crucial 5 minutes ever. Stay away from the computer, close your eyes, take a deep breath and repeat the mantra “I can solve everything efficiently” again and again. It is very important that you pay attention to your breathing. Do not let any of these problems overtake your mind during those 5 minutes. If they get into your mind, let them go. You need to focus on your breath and on repeating the mantra. If you can go anywhere outside, it would be even better.
- Communicate with your team: When you get back to the computer, get in touch with your team in order to face the situation and ask for help. You should not communicate complaining in an angry or negative mood; you should speak calmly and using positive words. Communicate with your clients to explain them the situation and ask them to be patient. Your clients need to know that everybody is as important as they are and that every member of your team is doing their best to solve the issues and to respond to all requests on time as you normally do. This makes more humane and allows you to get closer to your clients. Show them a proactive and positive attitude, but do not lie to them or give them an unrealistic deadline. It is preferably that you surprise them for good, instead of not keeping your words in a chaotic moment in which everyone is more sensitive.
- Distribute tasks in a clear and organized way: Write down a list of all the issues to be solved and assign each issue to the person you think will solve it better and faster. Make sure you do not overburden anyone, especially those that are having technical issues. Support and be empathetic with whoever has technical issues. Bear in mind that the situation is beyond their control and try to think, together, of a solution. If you have back up resources, do not hesitate to contact them. Make sure you join resources that speed things up instead of causing delays.
- Get involved: As a leader, it is vital that your team feels you are all in the same boat. Do not stand there just looking at the chaos. Getting involved and working hand in hand with your team helps building stronger ties.
- Thank everybody´s help and reflect on the chaos: Once the tsunami is over, get in touch with your team and clients again in order to thank them for their support, patience, effort, and performance. Take some minutes to reflect with your team on what happened and how you sorted things out in order to reinforce positive behavior and take preventive and corrective measures for the future.
Don’t let chaos pass without leaving a lesson