January 20 is just a day away. President Obama steps down as President-elect Trump takes the oath of office. It's a time of heightened emotions for all of us as we grapple with understanding how this new President and his administration will affect major policies, programs, and economic realities for our country, our communities and own families, and the world.
After a brutal election year, it's no wonder some of us, and the staff we manage, are experiencing conflicting emotions - post-election excitement, apprehension, anger, and fear. If you are a manager in the Federal sector, your agency is preparing to welcome a new cast of leaders. Not an easy feat! Now more than ever is it time for you to adopt proven disciplines that have stood the test of time during periods of upheaval and uncertainty. You'll be better equipped to deal with your staff and with future realities.
1. Back to basics. Take care of your basic health needs - hydrating, eating well, getting enough sleep and physical activity. Our minds are sharper, and our bodies more resilient when our basic needs are met.
2. Check in with your subordinates. Create opportunities for your staff to socialize and to be strengthened as a group. Be a listening ear and offer positive suggestions.
3. Engage in the religious and spiritual practices that you endorse on a daily basis. Starting your day with a devotional book, yoga, or meditation tape will reap you greater benefits that clicking on your favorite social media site first thing in the morning. Commit to looking for reasons to be grateful and find ways to express personal satisfaction to others.
4. Choose not to complain, condemn, or criticize. Avoid negative thoughts and feelings, as hard as this may be. Remember your subordinates (like you children) will model your behavior, and working in a critical environment is toxic to good health and well-being, and isn't productive!
5. Limit your time focusing on the news and on social media. While you want to stay current, continuously viewing different rantings on the internet is destructive. If you must engage in social media, be quick to compliment and praise. Use these technologies and other media to communicate accurate information to your subordinates. Admit when you don't know what is going on during this time of flux.
6. Take action to combat anxiety and fear. Help organize or volunteer at charities, organizations, or religious groups that work in your neighborhoods or cities. Encourage your staff to do the same.
Focusing on what you can control and taking positive action will help you weather this presidential transition, and most importantly, model strong leadership capabilities so you can be the best leader only you can be!