How to Survive a Crisis
by Ann Connor
In a moment of crisis—be it one of physical or (more frequently) financial danger—handling the situation takes great skill and even better tact to come out still standing. And while crisis management may not have been in your job description as a leader or small business owner, it is certainly a crucial skill set to have when (and it most certainly will, though we hope infrequently!) misfortune strikes. Here is some sound and savvy advice to help lead your company out of crisis:
Assess the Situation
A.k.a. don’t panic. Making split-second decisions on a situation before you’ve properly uncovered the reality of it can create more issues than it does solve them. Take a breath, get all the information you can on the matter, and remain realistic in your movement forwards. Know that, when it rains it tends pour, so begin to plan not only for how to solve the current problem but also plan for ways to prevent and/or solve resulting problems.
Although taking the time to get a handle on the situation is crucial, be sure not to doddle on it either. This is the time when a strong leader, after having assessed the problem, sets a plan of attack into motion by dolling out assignments to team members and employees to solve the problem fast and efficiently—not hurriedly.
Remain In Control
Crises are such because they create uncertainty and uncertainty creates chaos. If you believe, with certainty, that your company will get through this so too will your team and employees. A crisis (no matter how big) does not necessarily mean the end for you and yours. And if a sacrifice needs to happen, say taking on a project that will keep you occupied all weekend, make it first to set the tone and show you believe in the company’s survival. It will up morale and support in your leadership to demonstrate that you’re doing your part.
Take advantage of the tumultuousness of crises and implement the change that needs to happen to prevent future misfortunes. Then get active in the marketplace again. The market will never be the same as it was prior to the crises, so attack the market in your favor.
How do you respond in moments of crises? Share with us!