Written by Marwa Amin

When faced with a crisis, most leaders are forced to think and behave in ways that feel unfamiliar. Whether it’s a technological, financial, natural, or health crisis at work or in the community crises demand that leaders take an emergency response plan and adapt it as new evidence and factors present themselves, Crises, or times of intense difficulty when decisions need to be made quickly, are never going to be easy

Leading people through a crisis

1. Seek credible information, as a leader, it’s your responsibility to determine the most reliable, up-to-date information from trustworthy news sources. “Avoid getting information only from social media, information may be biased and, to varying degrees, inaccurate.

2. Use appropriate communication channels, once essential information is gathered, it should be disseminated to the entire organization by every means possible. Transparency is key. “Information is the oil that greases an organization and keeps it running smoothly

• How to communicate?
– Face-to-face first, whether in person or through virtual channels.
– Key information should be handled with the 3 Rs: review, repeat, reinforce

3. Explain what your organization is doing about the crisis, during a crisis, time is compressed, If you are in charge, take charge. Be proactive; take initiative. Do something even if it might be wrong; paralysis or over analyzing is riskier. As you make decisions and take action, communicate those actions truthfully and honestly

4. Be present, visible, and available, during a crisis, employees have a need to hear from their leaders frequently. When leaders appear calm, concerned, knowledgeable, and in charge, workers feel encouraged and are more likely to have confidence that things are under control and will be fine, let employees know how they can best reach you with status updates and questions.

5. Dedicate organizational resources for future crises, As any crisis transitions from its urgent phase, the time pressure will ease, as will the need for split-second decisions. At that point, the plan must evolve into a more complex system that looks at recovery and getting things back to normal — whatever the new normal looks like, If a similar emergency unfolds in the future, will you be prepared?

Relationships Matter During a Crisis

Maintaining Perspective in a Crisis