Problems are inevitable in any organization. During moments of crisis, the leader’s ability to communicate and adapt is put to the test. And while others feel frantic, the leader must exhibit self-control and make rational decisions. To prevent disarray, leaders must also think creatively as they manage both problems and people. With all the leadership skills that must be in place to address a crisis, leaders can prepare if they consider the following ten principles:
1. Keep calm
Employees look to leadership to guide them through crises; therefore, leaders must remain calm and remember that their behavior can inspire and motivate. Remaining calm also organizes thoughts so that decisions aren’t made in haste.
Leaders don’t need to bear the weight of a crisis alone. Problems also present chances for group discussions and creative problem-solving.
3. Communicate clearly and carefully
Organize your thoughts and message to ensure that you communicate effectively with employees. The goal is to prevent more confusion and anxiety.
4. Give employees time
Times of crisis impact employees differently; some will think optimistically while others worry. Allow employees some time to process their feelings, allowing them to gather their thoughts and work through their emotions. Find the right timing to address the problem and communicate your actions to your employees; waiting too long may only lead to more panic and despair as employees are left in the dark about their futures.
Show emotional strength so that employees may be motivated. Enthusiasm and positivity can be infectious, particularly in times of uncertainty.
6. Envision success
Visualize a positive outcome once the problem has been resolved. Invite employees to share their visions so that others may draw strength and remain hopeful.
7. Alleviate pressure
Don’t keep your fears bottled up. Turn to a mentor, therapist, or professional coach that can help you work through your emotions and help alleviate stress. Practice self-awareness so that you don’t inadvertently compound pressure that will keep you from rational decision-making.
8. Strategize different scenarios
Visualize different outcomes and create strategies to address different scenarios. While we all hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst. Creating a contingency plan should not be perceived as pessimistic behavior but rather, a strategy to minimize risk, promote action, and prevent panic.
9. Embrace experience
While disruption challenges leadership, it also offers opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. So rather than perceive problems as barriers, leaders can use it as a chance to fill gaps, test preparedness, and get ready for future disruption.
10. Accept help
Experience in both success and failure becomes your best teacher and prepares you for future problems. However, moments of crisis don’t mean that you must manage independently. Seek advice from those who have been there and may offer valuable insight.
During times of crisis, recognize the limitations of transparency. While employees should not be shut out, oversharing information can be harmful and may create more chaos. As a former CEO and COO, I have built leaders and their teams for over 30 years. I now count top organizations among my grateful clients.
I can custom-tailor an executive coaching and team-building plan just for you. There is never any cost for a discovery call which you can schedule right here: https://calendly.com/inscapegreg/30min
I look forward to chatting with you.