Troubling Times need Good Management Techniques

It’s hard managing people through tough times. The fact is that when there is troubling news, a lot of your team will have their minds focused on that news, which causes a major distraction from the business.

How do you best support people when they are in this situation? It can be particularly hard to know how to best support your people. How do you strike the balance between delivering what the business needs to and showing compassion to those who are troubled?

What do you say — or not say? What about you – how are these tough times affecting you as a manager?

Good management seeks to understand how they can be of service and benefit to employees while still balancing the need to keep them on task in relation to business goals. Here are a few ways that you can achieve this:

You have to understand where you are in relation to the stress and anxiety all around you. By doing this you will be better able to support your team and help them become resilient. Take the time to understand what you’re feeling. Ask yourself: What’s most important to me? If one of your core leadership values is to be collaborative, for example, ask, ‘How can I help people feel like they’re part of the team?’”

Don’t ‘bottle’ your emotions and don’t expect your people to bottle theirs. This is counterproductive as the feelings of concern and distress are very real and cannot be ignored, denied or suppressed.

It is no good pretending that everything is fine, going about work as if nothing is going on. This will cause disengagement and resentment amongst your people. Directly address the issue and acknowledge that people may be on edge and feel that things are uncertain.

You must break the cycle however and can’t afford to brood. Acknowledge how people are feeling, but then move on to talk about how you want to move forward positively as a group. Questions to the group like “How do we want to treat one another during these times?” are of value. Members might agree that
they want to continue delivering a quality product to clients while being respectful and value each other.

Always promote that shared value of purpose.

Use one on one meetings with people to let them describe what they’re going through. Look at the world from their perspective. The key is to really understand how they are thinking and feeling. This creates real empathy and forms the basis of trust. You can then move forward to solve the problem together. Everyone will not need the same things – help them by saying ‘I want to help you navigate these current challenges so that you can be at your best’’

As you would expect things like sleep, exercise, and good nutrition help enormously with resilience.
Always encourage your team members to take care of themselves. It is not the role of the manager to dictate what people do but if, for example, you discover that someone is wedded to their phone and never has a rest you could share what has worked for others in the same situation or indeed for you. Share information on breathing techniques and mindfulness which will all help.


  • Remember that stress is normal — it’s a common physiological response to uncertainty
  • Help your team feel grounded by reaffirming your shared purpose
  • Encourage people to take care of themselves in whatever small ways help build their resilience


  • Neglect your own anxieties and concerns
  • Dismiss people’s emotions
  • Assume that everyone on your team needs the same type or level of support

If you need assistance perfecting those management skills an supporting your people when they need it most, get in touch with us at or call us on 01162325231.

The Tinderbox Team