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Inoculating the Team Against the Threat of a Downturn
Leaders can protect a team against the negative influence of external forces, such as a potential downturn, much like the body can be protected against disease. Preparing team members to withstand the assaults of doubt and uncertainty before they take a firm hold is what good leaders do.
By discussing the potential realities ahead of time and providing counterarguments against the most negative outcomes, team members forge the kind of resistance that repels future messages from external sources predicting doom.
Once they receive this preemptive refutation, team members commonly seek more information in support of the leader’s view.
This is akin to exposing a body to a weakened form of a virus. Strong enough to trigger a response (think antibodies), but not so strong as to overwhelm the body’s resistance. This inoculation is essential work. Without it, the team comes to believe the worst-case scenarios floating about in the information marketplace and begins acting on them.
Good leaders don’t sugarcoat possible outcomes or fabricate arguments they know are likely not true. Instead, they make their honest viewpoints known with specific arguments before external information floods the airwaves. This motivates team members to discuss the unfolding events from a place of security and not one of alarm.
Inoculating the team against the potential of future unknowns prevents the negative prophecy so easily swallowed in the modern workplace. When nothing is certain and everything is in flux, it is leaders who bring stability when they refuse to dread the future.
Give your team a booster shot of the future reality as you see it.