Overworking yourself and trying to be a hero during a crisis can bring down your whole team. Practicing mindfulness can help nurture teamwork and collaboration. Creating a mentorship program can help your organization build leadership potential with the resources you already have available.


Don’t be a hero.

Burning yourself out by trying to be a hero when a crisis hits could get you into serious trouble, warns a new article by the Association for Talent Development.

When you try to run on empty for the sake of your team, you may unknowingly model a behavior that causes others to burn out too. Instead, put your own mask on first. That means setting schedules that help you focus better, making time to chat with loved ones, and getting enough exercise and sleep.

ATD’s other advice for leading in a crisis:

  • Don’t focus so much on goals that you lose sight of your people. Employees need support now more than ever—which means employers need to have deep empathy.
  • Set priorities by creating a list of what’s essential. This helps you and the team know where to focus energy and helps alleviate the stress of feeling overwhelmed.

Source: Cognitive Pitfalls Leaders Should Avoid During a Crisis


Practice mindfulness.

Teamwork and collective intelligence are often needed to help companies tackle complex challenges—especially in times of crisis. But how can organizations nurture these abilities among employees? They can practice mindfulness, says a recent article from Knowledge@Wharton, based on research by Boston Consulting Group and Awaris.

  • Teams need to establish specific habits that promote attentiveness and focus—for example, observing a minute of silence before the start of each meeting. In addition, how team members deal with devices, listen to each other and speak can affect the degree of presence and openness in the meeting.
  • People are more likely to contribute to the team when they feel trusted and appreciated. Calling attention to the achievements and contributions of individual team members and showing appreciation for a job done well can help improve the sense of community.
  • Expressing emotions should be a natural part of what it means to work together. Consider having check-ins so team members can share how they feel emotionally before a meeting, as well as regular retrospectives in which members share their feelings on the interactions within their team.

Source: Mindfulness Can Help Unlock Your Company’s Collective Intelligence


The power of mentorship.

Looking to build leadership potential in your organization but low on resources? Consider creating a mentorship program, says a new article from TLNT.

Here’s how:

Define your goals and share them with your team—and make clear it’s a business priority. If your goal is to foster diversity and build a path to leadership for underrepresented team members, your mentorship program will be structured differently than if your goal is to welcome new hires or build more technical skills. Make sure that mentors and mentees have the full support of your leadership team to invest time and resources into the program.

Pair your mentors and mentees. Identify the rising stars at the junior levels of your organization and set them up with someone more senior who can help them navigate the transition to a leadership role. A particularly effective way is to have mentees list the kinds of skills they most want to learn and mentors provide a list of the skills they’re most comfortable imparting, then presenting mentees with a few options and having them choose. Interpersonal dynamics are important: even if someone looks great on paper, they might not click.

Set expectations and get in sync on a format. How often will the pairs meet, and who will drive the content of each meeting? For instance, pairs might decide on biweekly meetings where the mentee comes in with problems or issues, the mentor gives advice and both share some reflections on progress.

Evaluate performance over time. After your mentorship program has been running for a while, collect data—e.g., promotions, turnover, level of career satisfaction and confidence—and go over it with your team. Are there areas for improvement?

Source: The COVID-19 Crisis Is a Mentorship Opportunity: Here’s How to Take Advantage of It