Leaders are best forged during a time of crisis when someone is needed to step forward, take the lead, be responsible, take the risk, show the way, or find the solutions required. Great leaders are born when things are about turning upside down, and the great leaders take the stage to bring back normalcy.
As the COVID-19 crisis pushes everyone to the edge with the medical professionals facing the most challenging period ever, airlines counting loses each day, and families unable to wish their loved ones farewell at the hospital. It is fast becoming evident that things will not remain the same for a long time coming. And when things fall apart, a leader is needed to bring together the falling parts.
As a business leader, you will need to learn how to handle communication as it can either suppress or explode the crisis as people lay hold to every word to know what to expect. Effective communication during a crisis like the present COVID-19 will help both the internal framework (employees, board members, and investors) your customers stay connected to the business and the value it represents.
Here Are Some Communication Strategies For Effective Leaders to Communicate During Crisis
1. Be Transparent
If your turn-around-time or your call center wait times will increase, communicate that as soon as you can. For whatever happens that does not meet your customers’ expectations, take responsibility, and apologize. This might make you look vulnerable, but it’s better to be vulnerable and trusted. The more transparent you are, the more understanding your audience would be, and they can even give suggestions on how to make things better… Everyone will be on the same page
2. Get On The Podium All The Time- Communicate Often
Communicating frequently is very important at times like this. The White House, for example, updates the nation every single day. Such briefings help people gather relevant and up-to-the-hour information as regards to what to do, what not to do, and what to expect. You should communicate the truth even though you are trying not to cause a scare.
3. Take The Lead, Show The Way
Wrap up the whole flame and compress it to a perspective, that’s what leaders do. If you are operating a restaurant, you should be able to effectively communicate to your customers why they will not be able to eat their favorite meals and let them know their health is a top priority.
4. Communicate The Solutions
So what next? How do we get out of this? When will this be over? These are the type of questions your audience will be contending within their mind, and as a leader, you should be able to find the solutions and communicate it to them effectively. Knowing the solution is one thing; communicating it is another game entirely. You need to communicate the cost of the solution, the sacrifices required (if there is any), and the strategies to be used in moving out of the dark phase.
5. Be The Care Expert
If you are gracious enough to show some empathy to your staff, it is natural to know that you can extend the same to your customers. Customers want to see how you take care of your people during the crisis. The humanity in them will associate your response to your team with the type of response they had expected from a caring leader. If you want them to have a positive view of your corporate culture, you can look for some ways to show empathy to your team.
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.