5 Steps For Turning Your Next Business Crisis Into a Leadership Moment - Deepstash
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Keep your focus on how to fix the problem

Keep your focus on how to fix the problem

Forget about assigning blame until later, since that will only complicate matters and make it an emotional battle. What is needed first is your strong leadership, or even a leadership team, to build a plan, assign the right people, and monitor the steps to resolution. Provide tools and resources as required.

Especially when distractions and emotions are high, it will help your focus to break down large challenges and crises into smaller elements to get things started and give you a sense of progress along the way. Map out some dedicated time for every serious issue


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Don't hesitate to micromanage initially in a crisis

Your people need to know who to follow, what to do, and how to do it. However, very quickly after everyone has their assignment and is actively working, you need to let them do their jobs without questioning every step. Micromanagement at a later stage only increases stress and slows progress.

Micromanagement can be especially productive if you are working with a first-time or unique situation, or working with a new team with little experience. The challenge for many bosses is to recognize when their team should be coaching them.


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Get advice before jumping to conclusions

Get advice before jumping to conclusions

Don't try to solve the problem or build a plan alone, especially if you have no relevant experience. Look for a mentor, or expert in this area, and ask for their advice.

You need to understand potential misconceptions and ferret out any rumors which complicate the situation and lead to the wrong conclusion.


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Overcommunicate and really listen to feedback

When you sense a crisis, you need to communicate and listen carefully with urgency, transparency, and empathy. A tone of urgency encourages people to mitigate impact, and transparency builds trust in you as a leader. Showing empathy fosters resilience in facing the challenges directly and acting.

A key challenge with communication in a crisis is to get ahead of the issue. Don't wait until a media inquiry or a government agency puts you on the defensive, and makes all of your efforts look like too little, too late. Daily updates on a crisis are often appropriate.


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Always be prepared to accept responsibility

Always be prepared to accept responsibility

Whether the impending crisis was caused by your mistake, your team, or was a fluke accident, you win trust by accepting responsibility for how it has affected customers and apologize.

Conversely, the quickest and surest way to lose all trust is by blaming others entirely for the situation.


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