With leadership comes preparation. Planning and strategizing is essential to leading a group of people with the best intentions. Yet, sometimes you do not always get to plan ahead for various situations. A situation may call for you to act on your feet and be a leader on the spot – what do you do? You can’t dismiss the given scenario because you are not prepared. These are moments when leaders must call upon their leadership improv skillset. There are some essential skills needed from leaders in order to lead on the spot.
Experience the experience you are experiencing. In other words, stay in each moment and walk slowly through the crowd. Presence is a mental state that often takes a lot of focus and concentration to be in a moment entirely. A leader must be able to analyze the situation, process, and produce the best insight they possibly can and do it with confidence. It may seem, internally, that it is blind confidence but trusting your instinct is a strength many people lack. Choosing to be present and mindful allows leaders to be in a heightened state of awareness paired with enhanced communication skills.
Think Slow – Move Fast
The nature of the claim may seem counterintuitive yet, in times of risk or uncertainty, it is essential to analyze all aspects of a situation. Those who efficiently process information, manage others emotions and communicate precise details to individuals who will likely be in positions of leadership. Intentionally slowing down your thinking process will allow you to see essential details others can’t because they are thinking frantically. Leaders stay relaxed under pressure to pause on-purpose and process their thoughts at a higher level.
Quick judgment can be quite detrimental to a leader. If a leader does not fully process their thoughts and is ready to judge someone or a group for the problem, the outcome is usually distrust and loss of support from their team. A swift judgment can unintentionally create a loss of morale from the group you are leading. Moments where the pressure is high and leaders must make hard decisions, look to make this a moment where you must listen intently and understand all aspects of the issue before making a judgment.
Flexibility, agility, and nimbleness are the very characteristics that make improvisational leadership effective in a dynamic world. This, when the ‘make it work’ mentality, manifests itself but it must be done with a positive mental outlook.
Leadership improvisation is a technique that is difficult but takes poise and balance. The ability to act on your leadership feet will create stronger and more trusted relationship with your group.