Every business gets tested eventually; how you lead your team through that crisis could have a lot to do with how you come out the other side.
In “The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation,” author John Baldoni advises responding with integrity and substance instead of platitudes.
Be positive, he advises – but use real facts to promote your optimism and don’t build false hope. Be accessible; an open door offers reassurance. And encourage feedback; it’s better to know what your employees really think.
Find meaning in your struggle. If you can make your mission a meaningful one, employees will be more likely to buy into it.
Set broad direction and let your employees take ownership of how to get there. A little trust could empower them to tap into their creativity to solve company problems. And support your employees – let them know you have their backs if they come in for unwarranted or negative criticism.
And the most painful, but necessary, advice: An effective leader knows when to cut losses, move on and extract lessons learned from a failed effort.
Adapted from Ten Ways to Lead Your Department in a Crisis by Dennis McCafferty at CIO Insight.