7 Strategies To Lead Teams Through Uncertainty

Dr. Ankit Sharma, PhD

Strategies To Lead Teams

Change occurs quickly in the tumultuous corporate world of today. Global disruptions come one after the other. Modern workforces need to be resilient because of internal politics, the recession, and other factors. In case of any uncertainty, leaders must follow some strategies to lead teams through it.

The issue? For most managers, managing change is a notoriously challenging task. Approximately two-thirds of all change programs fail, according to studies. The main offenders are inadequate training, poor communication, and bad planning.

Managers must act quickly to react to crises and provide their staff with the tools they need to accept change, no matter how challenging it may appear, to maintain company viability and team spirit.

How To Lead Your Team Through Uncertainty

Strategies To Lead Teams

1. Be Transparent

Being transparent is one of the strategies to lead teams through any unfavorable situation. Confidence is engendered by transparency! If you don’t communicate openly with your team, they will probably assume the worst. When you inform your team about a new development, don’t forget to provide them with enough context, even if you are the only one who can choose how much information to disclose.

If you don’t, people might take the information incorrectly or fail to see how it fits into the larger scheme. Increasing transparency is another way to give your brand a more unique touch. A certain amount of trust in your clients and team might be useful in unpredictable times.

2. Obtain Support From Your Team

Have you ever received instructions without a good reason? Having a thorough knowledge of the change’s motivations will increase the probability that it will be adhered to.

Assume your CEO has purchased new HR technology. You’re perplexed and unenthusiastic about the change when a manager presents it because you believe your existing system is working fine.

Imagine for a moment that you have participated in the decision-making procedures. You gained deeper insight into the challenges faced by your department and others. You thus feel compelled to utilize the new method because you comprehend the rationale for the change in full.

The same holds for your team: if workers feel heard, they are 4.6 times more likely to perform well. Firms that exhibit elevated levels of engagement also see reduced staff attrition and increased output and earnings.

Therefore, provide a strong case by outlining your goal and enlisting the support of the whole team before offering fresh instructions. Address their worries and explain the rationale for the adjustment. You’ll raise the possibility that long-term reform projects will be sustained.

3. Respect Other People’s Perspectives

Valuing other people’s opinions may be an answer to how to lead your team. According to a common proverb, “Go alone if you want to go quickly. Go together if you wish to go a long distance.

Certainly, most leaders who are navigating constant change and leading through uncertainty in a variety of circumstances may experience feelings of isolation. This sensation of loneliness may result from a desire to work things out on your own. Still, there will naturally be a desire to intensify individual efforts and attention as the task becomes more difficult.

However, when dealing with problems that have established answers and are just temporary, this might be a useful tactic. Likewise, it may be disastrous to apply this strategy to problems when it is difficult to fully understand the extent of the problems and their interdependencies.

It is essential at this stage to establish the habit of consciously seeking out perspectives and insights from those within and outside of your network. By contacting individuals with insightful viewpoints and diverse experiences, you could be interested in finding out what perspective they would have on a certain circumstance, how they would approach it, etc. You may tap into their roots and ways of thinking even in the absence of a concrete answer.

4. Encourage Staff Members To Try New Concepts

If there is ambiguity about the change, teams may be hesitant to make it. Your staff is more likely to support change efforts if they are more resilient.

There’s not enough thought behind the planning sometimes, which makes change seem scary. Changes to one item might affect other things as well. Thus, leaders must remember all of the major stones. To accommodate all the other little rocks surrounding that, which large rocks are we prioritizing?

Employees may develop resilience in the workplace by being encouraged to try ideas in low-risk settings. Implement a flexible working arrangement for a fortnight if your sales staff want to investigate working remotely, for instance.

Throughout the test duration, keep an eye on staff productivity levels and request reports. Did they find the flexibility enjoyable? Were there any problems throughout the trial, such as difficulties focusing in the presence of distractions at home?

These experiments will not only demonstrate to staff members that their recommendations are valued, but you can also make better judgments when staff members are engaged in change from the beginning.

Go one step further and, irrespective of the result, urge your team to share what they have learned with the larger group. Encourage staff members to contribute to the development of your company’s learning culture by encouraging them to publish a weekly team bulletin or slack channel.

5. Don’t Be A Perfectionist

Avoiding perfectionism is one of the strategies to lead teams through uncertainty. The nature of labor in a complex context is always changing, so aiming for perfection may not always be worthwhile. Instead of aiming for perfection, focus on making progress, be prepared for errors, and know that you can make adjustments as needed.

Although it may not be simple, identify your basic worries or triggered traits—such as ego, failure attitude, or fear of making the incorrect choice—to begin letting go of perfectionism. You may reduce your perfectionism and come to terms with the fact that errors and failures are to be anticipated in any situation by letting go of the presumptions that go along with these anxieties.

6. Accept The Ambiguity Of The Unknowable

Feeling exhausted in new settings is biologically normal since our brains are designed to see uncertainty as a threat or danger. This is particularly true for high achievers, whose professions depend heavily on their ability to figure out what the “right” response is. These uncomfortable emotions have the potential to gradually become a major obstacle to learning, future development, and eventually overall performance.

We must learn to accept and appreciate the discomfort that comes with being in an uncertain situation as a normal and anticipated component of the learning process, rather than ignoring these emotions. Being a leader, you ought to:

  • Be prepared to tolerate difficult talks and aid in others’ continued engagement.
  • As required, take short breaks, but never waver in your commitment to the team.
  • To make team members feel appreciated, encourage them to detach when needed and re-engage as soon as their stress levels drop.

7. Establish Rapport And Trust

Building connections and trust can be an answer to how to lead your team. When individuals are resistant to change and competing viewpoints are ambiguous, trust is often damaged. People have a propensity to mistrust others who have different views, which causes division and a disjointed team.

Considering this, bear in mind that leading through uncertainty often involves resistance and detachment. Find strategies to foster an environment where individuals feel comfortable sharing their stories and believing that everyone is doing their hardest, even when opinions diverge.

Be receptive to the opinions of those who think and approach things differently than you do. When someone seems overwhelmed, pay attention to where they tend to detach and allow them room to do so. It is one of the best strategies to lead teams.

Final Notes

As long as workers have management they can confide in, change doesn’t have to destroy their company. Make use of these strategies to lead teams through uncertain times. You’ll get employee buy-in and have the chance to spark enthusiasm for novel approaches to work via anything from supporting experiments to providing hands-on training.

In its worst cases, uncertainty may lead to polarization, anxiety, and a loss of connection. Teams and leaders may avoid this by working together and making an effort to support and understand one another.

When uncertainty works well, it presents a chance to enhance the current situation. It promotes more in-depth comprehension and connection. People are more devoted to the group and the cause when they feel heard, understood, and respected. Teams synchronize and leaders may develop.

Charles Darwin once said that the species that survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent; rather, they are the ones that can best adapt to the always-changing environment in which they live. Turbulent change creates uncertainty, which gives teams and leaders a chance to work together to alter the world.


Q: How do leaders handle uncertainty?

A: In the face of great uncertainty, leaders will need to figure out how to foster consistency and trust. They may do this by fostering a strong sense of trust, imbuing themselves with a clear vision, enhancing integrity and openness, and presenting uncertainty as an opportunity.

Q: Why is controlling uncertainty a crucial leadership ability?

A: Rapid changes in the workplace foster uncertainty, and it holds for both the general public and the workplace. This is why it’s so important for leaders to be able to manage uncertainty at work.

Q: What impact does uncertainty have on management?

A: Based on agency theory, which is outlined in economics and maintains that, unless their managers exert control over them, subordinates’ motivation and behavior are geared towards their own goals rather than the organization’s objectives, uncertainty is regarded as an inherent element in the manager–subordinate relationship.

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