Without question, the pandemic suddenly and dramatically upended the working world, creating unanticipated business and leadership challenges. The rapid shift to remote work brought on countless challenges for organizations. The inability to bring external and internal stakeholders together in person for the foreseeable future adds more difficulty to decision-making and increases the potential for conflict. During the ongoing crisis, senior leaders must rethink key decision-making processes in order to enhance trust, transparency and teamwork. More than ever, leaders must be attuned to the needs of their businesses, their workforce and other key partners and stakeholders, even though the stresses in their own lives may have increased during the pandemic.
Moderated by Phoenix Business RadioX, a distinguished panel of leadership experts from jdh Insights, Michael Beach Consulting and Andy Maurer Consulting joined Arizona Technology Council CEO Steve Zylstra for an engaging discussion on best practices to deal with toxic stress, as well as strategies to improve the quality and impact of leadership while working virtually in these turbulent times.
jdh Insights Leadership Coach Joni Hibdon kicked off the conversation by shedding her insight on how senior leaders can better engage virtually with stakeholders and internal team members in ways that enhance trust, transparency and teamwork.
“It is not easy,” said Hibdon. “Because it takes a different type of energy. While technology has facilitated communication during the pandemic, many employees are experiencing Zoom-fatigue, IM-fatigue and email overload. What’s changed is that leaders have learned more about their employees than they did before, all of which provides a sense of feeling better connected even while social distancing and working remotely.”
“Our brains sense the disconnect,” said Leadership Coach and Speaker Andy Maurer. We’ve lost that connection to other people, despite being technologically connected more than ever before. When we move forward, it will be interesting to see how exactly the isolation will propel us back to in-person connectivity.”
This distinguished panel of leadership coaching experts also discussed which leadership style works best for virtual teams, as many employees continue to work remotely from home.
“My philosophy is that every style has its benefits,” said Linda Drake, executive development coach with Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting. “But for business leaders, the ability to adapt and be flexible in today’s virtual business environment is crucial.”
Hibdon added, “Curiosity is a good competency to have as a leader to solve problems and challenges, but especially in this challenging environment.”
“It’s an opportunity to change the narrative and for CEOs and senior leadership to show that they are emotionally strong,” Maurer added.
The group of leadership experts also discussed emotional wellness, the importance of compassion and empathy, as well as some strategies and best practices that professionals at all levels can adopt to amp up their leadership skills. Moderated by Phoenix Business Radio X and Arizona Technology Council CEO Steve Zylstra, it was a fantastic discussion and well worth a listen.
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/techcast to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.
About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.
Visit www.aztechcouncil.org/tech-events to view all of the Council’s upcoming virtual tech networking opportunities, engaging virtual tech events and in-person tech events.