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 to 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 of the most challenging 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 make 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.