Last week, I shared different frameworks and strategies used in recent coaching sessions with my executive coaching clients that are helpful for managing uncertainty. In this email, I’m including more details on one of those I referenced. Consider this helpful content to build the leadership muscle of self-management that is a partner to self-awareness. Also, scroll below to learn more about the live webinar I’ll be leading on the topic of “How to Avoid the Urgent Becoming the Important” on Friday, May 15. And be in touch if you’d like to discuss further!

How To Self-Manage in the Era of Uncertainty

It’s one thing to build greater emotional intelligence by understanding your own emotions and also how to read and manage others’ emotional reactions. It’s yet another to have to do all of this in the midst of a crisis – whether that be an acute crisis or an on-going crisis state like the current one.

Steven D’Souza, co-author of the book Not Knowing, was one of the guest teachers in a recent professional training course I completed. Fortunately, he shared his research and explorations in the context of COVID-19, which made the content that much more relevant and useful. Here’s my own interpretation (Cliff Notes style) of what I learned from Steven and how you can apply it right now.

  1. Knowing how you respond in challenging circumstances is a critical piece of self-awareness
  2. Learning how to manage yourself and your typical responses in uncertain situations is an absolute PRE-requisite before you can attempt to lead others
  3. Knowing how others may respond in a crisis can help prevent you from getting triggered and prevent you from taking their reactions personally, as well as help you understand how to best support them
  4. Effective leaders self-manage and are able to support others in parallel, in part by risking vulnerability and sharing how the uncertainty impacts them personally
  5. Being human at a time of crisis creates an opportunity to connect on a more deeply personal level with those you lead (at work and in your family)
  6. This will not be the last time we experience uncertainty, so now is the time to learn how you respond, learn how to manage yourself, and learn how to support others through the uncertainty

Here are the key words that describe the typical ways we as humans (and leaders!) respond to uncertainty.* Where do you see yourself?

  • Take Control
  • Be Passive / Resign Ourselves to Do Nothing
  • Get stuck in Paralysis by Over-Analysis
  • Practice Catastrophic thinking: if this, then that, then… everything crashes and burns
  • Rush to Action
  • Procrastinate / Resist Taking Action
  • Keep our Head in the Clouds / Live in Denial

As I wrote above, self-management is an important partner to self-awareness. It’s what you do with your awareness – especially in a challenging time like now – that makes or breaks the effectiveness of your leadership choices and actions.

I invite you to schedule a complimentary coaching session to experience the power of coaching. Working with me as your executive coach can support you in building greater resiliency, emotional intelligence, and leadership effectiveness – competencies that will serve you now and in the long-term.

How to Avoid “the Urgent” Becoming the Important | May 15 at 9:30 am ET

Learn More & Register

You are invited to join this live webinar hosted by the Beacon Professional Networking organization, based in Philadelphia. All you need is wifi, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link and call-in details.

During this hour, I will share the Total LeadershipTM Four Way view and the Eisenhower matrix so you can assess the current state of your life and learn how to make smarter choices to re-focus your attention on what is truly most important. This webinar includes a hands-on exercise and an interactive diad/triad activity that will be conducted in virtual break-out rooms. Come ready to learn and engage for the benefit of you and others in your network! While this is hosted by Beacon, all are welcome, so please join us and share with others.

You will learn:

  • How important each domain of your life really is to you: work, home, community and self
  • The degree to which you are spending time aligned with what is most important
  • How satisfied you are with the choices you are making
  • Specific tips to Do, Defer, Delegate or Delete so you avoid “the urgent” becoming the important

Hope to see you online on May 15!

In service to your leadership growth,


Erin Owen, MBA, PCC, JCTC
Executive Coach since 2004

*Source: Steven D’Souza, as shared in the class he led called “Coaching From the Space of Not Knowing” in the four-month long certification course Erin recently completed called “Become a  Transformative Presence” coach training.

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