“Managing Through Crisis” is different from “Leading Through Crisis”.
Leading means you step up, take control, and navigate through the crisis. You do this because you’re the leader. You do this because you are responsible to get through the crisis you are facing and you do this because you are equipped to do it, you’re ready.
Managing means you help your team not only survive and get through the crisis, but you help them learn in the process, so that they’re better equipped and prepared for the next crisis that comes.
When crisis comes, determine if you need to LEAD through it, or if you can use this as an opportunity to MANAGE and help your team grow. This might be a tough decision at times, but you always want to be looking for opportunities to develop your team.
An example of this might be when your child shares a crisis or a situation, and instead of solving the problem, you help them to figure out how to get through the problem.
Here are some things you can do to MANAGE THROUGH CRISIS:
#1) Be Proactive. Anticipate Crisis.
It will come. Talk about it. One way to do this is with a common SWOT Analysis. One aspect of this process is to talk about any THREATS that might be coming your way. Talk about any potential crisis that could affect you.
#2) Have the Team Ready.
Remember the earthquake drills you did in elementary school? (OK, so you didn’t grow up in California) Everyone had a job and a task, and we practiced it. Know who you will call on, and talk about the role they will play in ANY crisis that comes.
#3) Be Ready to Communicate.
Talk about how you will communicate in crisis. Who will be the spokesperson? What is the best way to connect with all of your team members? What things should be shared publicly and what things need to be protected? When will you need to all pull together in person to create the plan? Communication is critical to any crisis response.
#4) Practice Working Together.
One of the best ways to manage through crisis is to have a solid, healthy team. The more time you invest in building the trust level of your team and building healthy cooperation now, the better they will function in a crisis. In fact, in healthy teams, crisis brings you together. in unhealthy teams, crisis rips you apart. Build your team before the crisis comes.
#5) Manage Your Resources.
Your team needs to know what resources are available to them to get through the crisis. Have resources ready. This may be finance, it may be outside sources to call on, it may be other organizations that have gone through similar crisis. Know who you can call.
#6) Manage and Lead
Just because your “managing” doesn’t mean you don’t lead. Help your team through this. Walk with them, encourage them, support them, step in to help when needed. You’ll find that this role is critical to a team. Sometimes you have to let them make some mistakes, but don’t let those mistakes be fatal. Then, once you get through the crisis, talk about the things you learned and brainstorm ways you could have responded better as a team.
You will find great satisfaction as a leader when your team comes together and functions the way they are supposed to function. Crisis can sometimes be a catalyst for this to happen.
Get your team ready! Crisis will come.