Engagement rate is increasing in corona times. The lack of physical contact with our peers and our realities is bringing communication to the virtual world. In times like these, when nations are experiencing unprecedented challenges and the economy is still learning to cope with this situation day by day, people are showing their need for a beacon to follow. And everyone is providing their 2 cents to the social media conversation, hence why we find opinions and advice about working from home, how to up productivity, collaborate virtually across timezones, etc. . This is a perfect moment for leaders to truly reach their audience who is eager for clarity and messages that resonate.
Leadership in times of crisis
On September 3rd, 1939, King George VI sat down at his Buckingham Palace office desk to address England with the most important speech he’d ever have to give. This was the day England had declared war against Germany. The population, sank in worry and uncertainty, waited for the monarch to start his speech, wondering what he was going to communicate in such a difficult time.
George VI was never meant to be king. He became the nation’s leader after his brother Edward VIII decided to abdicate so he could marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American socialite. By the time George had to take on the royal responsibilities, Europe was getting itself into another unfathomable conflict, just 20 years after the horror of the I World War. And the continent still hadn’t fully recovered; unemployment was out of the charts, fascism was gaining momentum and capitalism agonized. In South Wales, a reporter wrote that people didn’t even have pennies to use in their games of pitch-and-toss.
In times of uncertainty and darkness, George VI didn’t just resignedly accept a position that he had never been prepared to occupy. He decided he wanted to be the leader that the people needed. But something was on the way to achieve that, and it was the stutter he had suffered from ever since he was a child. Before he started taking speech classes, he couldn’t pronounce the letter ‘K’.
He was aware that, if he came out on a radio broadcast stuttering his way through a speech where he was going to announce a major turning point in history and ask for unity and hope, the people just wouldn’t connect with it.
True leaders are “activated” precisely in the moment they need to step up. And they don’t just deliver what’s expected, they make sure to create an impact that won’t be forgotten. Something so apparently minimal as a radio broadcasted speech of war declaration became a state affair, for a very clear reason. The speech wasn’t just about effectively responding to Germany’s provocations: it was about showing the people that they had a leader worth trusting.
What’s happening on LinkedIn?
In the world of today, we’ve got a lot more voices to follow and places to look for inspiration than just our nation’s leaders. In fact, thanks to social media and the internet, all of us are able to become one of those voices with something important to say, and evidently, users are gladly reacting to that.
People’s interest for conversation and exchange of ideas has been on an obvious surge these days.
In a situation where the enemy we battle is invisible, and most of the course of action that needs to be taken is being agreed upon almost by the hour, people are compelled to constantly try to come up with the message that will successfully point everyone – and themselves – on the right course of action.
Some of the keywords we find most are “opportunity”, “challenge”, “change”. It seems as though the idea of sharing tips and trying to get structured amongst this chaos is actually soothing both the messengers and the receivers.
Inspiration and consequential validation to it are creating a cycle that society strongly resonates with right now. There’s a very clear need of leadership, clarity, and ultimately, hope in these difficult times. And so, we ask ourselves these questions:
- Are people trying to find voices to follow during this crisis?
- How important is it to validate each other when social distancing is in place?
- Does the action of communicating our own thoughts to inspire others help us cope with these strange times?
What type of messages are good to communicate these days?
What we all wish to find right now is clarity and solidity. The best type of information you can provide, whether you’re trying to inspire others through a LinkedIn post or an Instagram story, is one that displays structure and planning. Essentially, you have to sound like you have a clear reason to join the already saturated conversation of what to do during these times.
With routines abolished, people are more open than ever to the idea of stepping out of their normal behaviors and trying different approaches to their workday. Elaborate a clear plan that includes tips on how to fight boredom, procrastination or break of focus. Advocate for a type of routine that’s easily replicable: don’t try to reach for objectives that you normally wouldn’t set yourself up for during regular times. It’s really important to keep yourself motivated, but remember to not burn yourself out.
Something that really works when it comes to setting goals is to maintain a good balance when it comes to “achievability”. Set a daily list of goals that combines some that you know you’ll be able to accomplish and one or two that pose a real challenge. This way, you’ll maintain productivity through fueling yourself with the rewarding sensation of achievement, plus the opportunity to conquer difficult tasks.
A good idea about mindset
These days, we have a unique opportunity to be completely honest with ourselves. During our regular work life, we have to adapt to the work environment and flow that’s in place in our organization, whose objective is to keep everyone on the same page. However, this type of synchronization can prove itself to be harder to maintain than ever, now that we aren’t in constant contact with our peers.
That leaves us with the necessity to lean on our own mental strength to keep up with the times. But make no mistake: mental strength isn’t about positivity these days. We’re going to have to let ourselves feel and deal with it on the way, because it’s next to impossible to keep up the optimism (or any solid state of mind) when our social and economic structures are falling apart right before our eyes.
The most important thing we can do these days is observe and deal. It’s okay to feel pessimistic or taken over by anxiety. This is a chance to make our instability be the actual basis of our strength: a perfect time to let ourselves be in ways that we normally don’t have time to, and learn to deal with all the negative to make it become positive.
Sharing your thoughts and processes on a platform like LinkedIn may be all it takes for you to become or strengthen your position as a beacon to follow.
Be your own leader.