What Leadership Skills Are Needed In A Crisis?
As the business world continues to face the unique and ever-shifting circumstances of the pandemic, having effective leaders is more important than ever before. After all, organizations that are unable to handle the crisis well can end up losing customers and brand credibility, as well as experience a significant drop in shareholder value and stock price. To save your organization from all of the above, here are some of the leadership skills that will be essential in managing a crisis:
During these trying times, the one skill that every leader needs is emotional intelligence. Given all the stressful and anxiety-inducing events going on in the world, the last thing employees need is a leader who can’t empathize and see things from their perspective. Right now, you have to be a leader who can strengthen social ties and create supportive environments conducive to working. Try your hardest to turn your organization into a viable source of community for workers, who may be isolated from friends and family. Make sure that you are talking with your colleagues openly and authentically. It would also be a good idea to introduce platforms that will allow you and your employees to engage with each other on a personal level.
No matter how normal it may be for people to get frantic and panic when a crisis hits, leaders can’t afford to be at the mercy of their feelings for an extended period of time. Leaders who have impeccable self-control are those who can keep their cool and quickly quiet panic. And as such, leaders like this are much more capable of making rational decisions, communicating clearly, and thinking of ways to find a solution to problems. Strong self-control can also manifest in the way leaders manage themselves. Regardless of how stressed leaders become, they should never end up yelling at others or berating team members for their mistakes. Take the time to engage in mindfulness exercises that will help you register everything that’s happening at present with full focus but without reacting.
Even during the best of times, arriving at the best decision can be pretty hard. So, you can only imagine how much more difficult it can be when nothing is certain, the future is unknown, data is limited, and quick decisions must be made in an instant. In the face of these challenges, the best course of action a leader could make is to prioritize and organize. Aside from recognizing that they will not have all the answers, knowing where to make the necessary decisions is of the utmost importance. This way, teams will be given guidance quickly and people who are more apt to call certain shots are not overshadowed. For professionals working in a career in business administration and management, decision-making is a skill that can be useful no matter your rank or department. Business analysts, for instance, must be able to quickly analyze data to steer teams and organizations towards better-informed decisions. Meanwhile, operations managers often don’t specialize in a specific area but handle a wide range of competing factors, like budgets and people management. To further enhance your decision-making skills, make it a habit to frame your problems in a variety of ways and always try to entertain a healthy amount of doubt.
Now that most people are working remotely, effective communication is as relevant as ever. Leaders these days must be able to communicate with their employees in the clearest, most concise, and timely manner possible. Most teams are now heavily reliant on digital mediums that leave no space for social and non-verbal cues, so leaders are expected to practice overcommunication. Try holding more routine conversations to balance out all the bad news plaguing employees. Set aside time to craft messages of hope and perseverance. Let your employees know all the efforts the company is doing to mitigate the crisis. Initiate interactions, and be sure to express concern for the well-being of employees and their families. Though small gestures, these can go a long way in improving employee engagement and productivity.