Can a Crisis Be Good for Leadership?
Nobody wants to face a crisis in their organisation, whether it’s external or internal. But a crisis may be exactly what your business needs to launch itself forward. Such a situation can be the push a leader needs to grow.
A crisis generally results in some form of change, which is a key component of development. It can therefore be seen as an opportunity. And with a more autonomous workforce, due to the rise of remote working, leaders need to be prepared for change, alongside a vast number of variables outside their control.
So if your business is facing some form of crisis, you can rest assured that there is a silver lining. We’ve explored a few of the benefits of a crisis, at least in terms of leadership, below:
1. Engage With Your Staff
If you prefer to be in control as a leader, in a time of crisis, you need to focus on engagement. Listen to what your employees are saying, as well as what they’re not saying. Ensure that you know what your staff are doing to solve the issue, and check that they’re not overworked. The last thing you want in a crisis is mass burnout.
In challenging situations, you should take the opportunity to develop connections with your colleagues. Just as much as your personal traits, your team is what makes you a great leader. So now is the time to forge stronger relationships with these individuals.
2. Listen to Concerns
When things go wrong, it’s more crucial than ever to pay attention to any concerns voiced by your employees. Nobody likes to feel like their concerns are being ignored, and if this goes on for too long, your staff may not come to you at all, as they’ll believe bringing up these matters would be a waste of time.
In any situation, but particularly times of disquiet, you need to give your team a voice. Encourage everyone to speak their mind, and then take note of these ideas. There’s no point listening to your staff if you’re then planning to dismiss their thoughts. In a crisis, no idea is a bad idea, and it’s good to have a discussion amongst the staff about the next steps for the business.
3. Support Your Employees
Although supporting your employees is something you should be doing at all times, in a crisis, people often need more support and reassurance. You can’t guarantee that the crisis will be easily resolved, but you can be completely transparent about the situation, and ensure that staff know they can approach you for support.
If you’re unsure where to start in terms of supporting your employees, the best thing to do is ask them. Ask what they need from you, and how you can be of service to them. In time, you won’t need to ask – it will be the cultural norm for staff to approach you and request assistance.
4. Work Together
Within your business, you’re bound to have a diverse set of skills and knowledge. Each person will approach a problem in a different way, often getting different, but equally successful results. In a crisis, you need to use this diversity, working together to resolve the issue. Many leaders impose a rigid way of working on their staff, failing to take advantage of the varied opinions and views of their team. This will stifle the growth of your business, and therefore should be avoided at all costs!
When trying to resolve an issue, you’ll often need new perspectives and processes. A time of crisis can thus be the perfect opportunity for people to work together, exploring new ways in which diversity can be incorporated and celebrated.
Coping in a Crisis
When you’re in the midst of a crisis, you’ll probably find it difficult to see the positives of the situation. The trick is to focus on working with your team to solve the problem, supporting them and allowing them to help you. Stronger relationships are often forged in such circumstances, and your business is likely to be stronger when things are more settled.
Even if you think you’ve got a long way to go as a leader, a crisis can be a great opportunity to become an outstanding leader. You can rewrite the status quo, ensuring that taking care of your colleagues becomes the norm.