The Role of Leadership during a Crisis

on February 10 | in Leadership | by | with No Comments

It’s almost ingrained in us that during trying times or times of crisis, we will turn to those who we consider being authority figures or leaders. If you aren’t turning to anyone else, it might be who others turn to. Regardless of this, leadership skills can and do make an impact on the severity of a crisis.

For clarity’s sake, we’re going to assume that a crisis can be anything from a slump in the economy to a loss faced by the business on a personal level or something like an accusation of fraud or a lawsuit. In such times, the company can go through a lot of stress and at times, can even cause employees to jump ship. The following are some ways that illustrate the role leadership plays during a certain crisis.

Diffuses the Stress

When something goes wrong, one of the most common reactions is to panic. This, in turn, increases the level of stress that someone is undergoing and can even worsen the situation. A proper leader will diffuse the stress by assuming control of the situation. Even if they do not take any action, just assuming control can relieve the tension that others might be undergoing.

Share As Needed

In a crisis, it is very important to share only what must be shared. Often times, during a crisis, it is common for sensitive information to be unearthed. Who it must be shared with and how is up to the leader to decide. They will be the ones who can correctly gauge not only what has to be shared but also the impact that piece of information will have.

Simple Solutions

A good leader will come up with a solution that is simple. Simplicity is one way through which a crisis can be diffused. In times of trouble, it is common to magnify the problem at hand. Leaders can step back, evaluate the situation and come up with a simple solution. Oftentimes, in such scenarios, everyone is often too stressed out and offering a solution that is complex can worsen the situation by creating a reluctance to follow through with it or cause further complications.

Acting Promptly

When experiencing a crisis, people often consider responding swiftly. A leader will always take a moment or two to find out the best solution for their crisis. For example; If there is a fire burning, one is likely to grab the nearest liquid lying around them, with few checking to see if they are adding more fuel to the fire. On the other hand, taking a few minutes to think will showcase that you don’t need to pour more water onto a fire, sand is far more effective since water evaporates from the intense heat and you need to pour a larger quantity of it. A bucket of sand can put out a fire more easily than a bucket of water.

Keep in mind that often times, many times of trouble can also cause leaders to collapse as well. When someone already has too much on their plate, a crisis might be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

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