Webinar: “Leadership during the Corona crisis” – experts from the University of Gothenburg highlighted human aspects

5 May 2020

Around a hundred people participated April 16 when the University of Gothenburg, via GU Executive Education, hosted a webinar on “Leadership during the Corona crisis.” Three experts from three faculties at the university shared insights and advice on how leaders can best work against the backdrop of the Corona crisis. Much of the webinar focused on strengthening leadership capabilities and understanding the needs behind behaviors.

The webinar started with a participant survey, which showed that the biggest dilemma right now for most people (49%) is “the difficulty to make decisions during uncertainty.” The questions asked by the participants to the expert panel included how to best lead and support employees remotely and how to manage redundancies.

The panel comprised three experts and researchers from different faculties at the University of Gothenburg all linked, in different ways, to GU Executive Education’s leadership programmes. They addressed participant questions from their respective perspectives and areas of expertise.

The panel of experts: Leif Denti, Mette Anthonsen, Thomas Jordan

Leif Denti, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, highlighted the psychological aspects that arise as a result of uncertainty, how to support employees working from home and employees who lack the structures and routines of the workplace, as well as what the research says about the psychological effects of being in quarantine.

Mette Anthonsen, PhD in Political Science and Executive Coach at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, focused on the importance of taking care of oneself as a leader to stand strong under stress and change. She provided concrete tips on how to achieve this.

Thomas Jordan, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, pointed out common mistakes when engaging with co-workers, especially in times of rapid change. He gave clear advice on how to work to improve it.

“We are very pleased with the webinar. It feels good to be able to share some of the academic knowledge that we feel is in demand in relation to the changes and challenges that the Corona Pandemic is bringing about for so many. The response was very positive, both in terms of the number of participants and appreciative comments afterwards. It is not impossible that we arrange something similar again,” says Håkan Ericson, CEO of GU Executive Education, who also led the webinar.

A post on LinkedIn from a webinar participant summed up the webinar: “So, it is especially important now to gather a wide range of expertise and different perspectives for decision making; to make decisions within the context of a dialogue about space and working conditions; to be prepared to evaluate the outcome of the decision and to make new or change decisions if necessary. Implementation becomes a learning where the uncertainty is explored.”

The panel of experts from the University of Gothenburg:

Mette Anthonsen is a PhD in Political Science and works as a professional coach (PCC) at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. For a decade, Mette has facilitated leadership development of teams and individuals in Sweden and internationally.

Leif Denti is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg. Leif’s research focuses on leadership, trust and innovation in the public and private sectors.

Thomas Jordan is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg. Since the early 1990s, Thomas has researched and lectured on conflict management, communication, organisational and social working environments, as well as adult development in the workplace. Since 2005, Thomas has also been active outside the university teaching and supervising organisational consultants, HR specialists, leaders and other target groups.