How To Lead Through A Crisis

How To Lead Through A Crisis 640 496 Balance Point Team

Not many people go to sleep at night expecting to wake up to a crisis. The thought of having to navigate through one however, might be enough to keep some leaders awake at night. 

Managers are obligated to make fast and important decisions, which might feel unnatural depending on the circumstances. 

Unfortunately, there is no manual or guide giving step by step directions on how to handle the situation. A crisis can spontaneously erupt internally or externally, without time to prepare. 

Confidence, adaptability, and accountability are just a few traits in successful leaders. Here we explore 4 ways to help lead through a crisis. 

Create A Business Continuity Plan

Planning for the next disaster might be hard to do as they are usually unexpected, however, having an emergency protocol in place is undeniably beneficial. 

Creating a business continuity plan will help businesses be able to respond quickly in case of an unexpected emergency. Having a comprehensive plan in place will help to provide guidance within the workplace and give solutions on how to respond to challenges as they arise. 

Report Credible Information

When a crisis strikes, your organization will look to you for answers on how to proceed. There might be a lot of confusion and uncertainty within the workplace. Although people might be eager for answers, it’s important not to rush and risk giving information that might not be credible. 

Avoid social media reports and word of mouth “hearsay”. As a leader, be sure to seek credible sources and news outlets.

Choose this time to communicate urgent news that might affect your employees, the business, and what next steps might be implemented. You might not be able to give everyone face to face explanations, especially in the event most employees are not in the physical office.

Choose an appropriate channel to communicate information in a way that all employees are receiving the facts at the same time to eliminate chaos and confusion. 

Review, Repeat, Reinforce

When in the midst of a crisis, you might be forced to make a decision without having a firm grasp of what next steps actually are. When making those decisions and reporting to your employees, it’s crucial that you:

  • Review what managers have released to employees in case of changes. Teams should constantly be updated if things are moving quickly. 
  • Repeat what’s been said. Don’t assume everyone has received and digested it. 
  • Review additional protocols or procedures in place so employees have a full understanding of what’s being done to protect them. This will cut down on stress and fear.

When information is spreading at a rapid pace, it can easily be misinterpreted and quickly turned into gossip. Don’t let the rumor mill be the key source of information within your organization. Be sure to keep employees informed. 

Communicate With Transparency 

Omitting information based on fear or uncertainty can actually cause more harm to the organization’s recovery process. 

Being open, honest, and transparent will help businesses navigate with a sense of togetherness. If your employees feel there is information being withheld, it will break trust in the relationship. 

Of course that means leaders have to sometimes deliver not-so-fortunate news. Speak sincerely, without sounding hopeless. Leaders are always forced to think ahead of the current situation, not the “right now” but also, the next day, next month. Try keeping a balance of transparency and insight, giving hope to how your organization will come out the other side. 

This Too Shall Pass

It’s easier said than done, but staying positive in the heat of the moment is important. Your employees will look somewhere for a sense of security. Although, there is much unknown during these times, you can keep the chaos at bay by setting the tone company wide. If this should happen to your organization, be sure to tackle things head on, don’t ignore them, and take the opportunity to learn from it.

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