There’s an old saying about crises: It’s not a matter of if, but when.
Every business will face a crisis at some point. The question is how you deal with it — especially if you’re sitting in the C-suite as the leader of your company. Every leadership skill you have will be tested during a crisis, including those below:
Self-Awareness. The ability to separate emotions from your decisions is difficult during normal times, but it’s magnified during a crisis. As you make decisions in difficult situations, do your best to focus on the facts and data presented to you — not your feelings. Self-awareness is an accurate appraisal of your abilities, feelings and preferences. If you understand yourself in this way, you can combat natural biases and make thoughtful and fact-based decisions to help you get through the crisis.
Quick Decision-Making. Some people make decisions in haste, while others review every choice and sit on an issue until the perfect resolution is found. When you lead a company in a crisis, you need to strike a balance between the two. Don’t make decisions too quickly, but don’t drag things out either. Gather enough information to act quickly and as accurately as possible.
Communication. During a crisis event, you need to be on top of communications. Everyone will want to hear from you — employees, customers, shareholders, the media, and others. You need manage the flow of information so that confirmed facts are shared quickly and rumors are quickly squelched. Watch your tone and delivery style during a crisis. You want to make sure you’re projecting your messages in a calm and clear way.
Self-Confidence and Humility. This is one hardest skills to master. When you’re a leader, you need to accept responsibility for what happens at your company during a crisis. Even if others made a mistake, blaming them won’t fix anything. Channel as much self-confidence as possible, and take responsibility on behalf of the company so you can resolve the issue and begin addressing the root problems.
A strong leader in a crisis is an incredibly valuable asset. If you’d like to learn more about how to be an effective leader during a crisis, visit here.