Leading Beyond a Crisis

Leading Beyond a Crisis

Dr. Fred Johnson | 4/18/2013 1:48:43 PM
Dr. Fred talks about leading change after organizational crisis:
 
Following an organizational crisis, company leaders often struggle with how to move past the emotional disorder and begin steering employees in the right direction again.
 
“How a leader addresses the inevitable emotional consequences after a crisis is critical in limiting the damage to morale and shortening the adjustment period that team members will need to move forward or fully re-engage.
 
Here are Dr. Fred’s top five C’s for leading after a crisis:
 
1. Compassion. People within the company will experience a range of emotions from anger to disillusionment. A leader who can genuinely express sympathy and demonstrate empathy for their pain in both collective settings and in one-on-one conversations is more likely to maintain credibility. People may not agree with how it happened or why it occurred, however, they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt if they know you genuinely care about their pain.
 
2. Communication. In a time of immense change, people are seeking stability – they want to know what is real. They need honest, direct information with no spin. They don’t want to be protected or coddled with half-truths designed to spare them discomfort. Show your people respect by “shooting straight”. Even if all you have to share is bad news, they will respect you for having the courage to be honest. Encourage them to be honest with their concerns and questions, and don’t get defensive when they oblige.
 
3. Connection. A leader’s heightened visibility is important following a crisis. Avoid the trap of sequestering in your office. People need to see their leaders. Strong leaders will deliberately heighten their presence and availability so they can answer people’s questions and concerns. People are looking for hope. They will pay attention to your demeanor and gauge your attitudes as a means of information.
 
4. Consensus. Often a crisis changes our Leadership style to authoritative and it can feel dehumanizing. Often people will feel insignificant and that they are just a means for corporate profitability. A strong leader will pay close attention to this by actively seeking input and suggestions before decisions are finalized. Involving the team in the input process is a powerful way of communicating that team members that they are important and trusted.
 
5. Clarity.  A strong leader will help people to see beyond the crisis as a means of enduring through it and moving beyond it. It is essential to recast vision and values. Reaffirming critical goals and developing new ways to meet them in a challenged economy is a must. Excellent leaders will find an appropriate balance between staying on top of the crisis and helping people to see beyond the current situation.
 
Dr. Fred and InitiativeOne provide intensive counsel and direction for businesses experiencing turmoil.