Pressure can sometimes make it feel hard to strike the right balance between directive and compassionate leadership. This is more than a matter of personal style. During the pandemic crisis, balance or imbalance is showing up in a variety of situations with the potential for lasting impact: decisions about redeployment, communication about crucial equipment stocks, day to day interactions about team priorities and performance.
Managers who get this right will help to ensure their teams come through the Covid-19 crisis with a greater resilience and mutual respect. Both will be critical for the long recovery phase.
“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak.
I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”
Jacinta Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand