Leadership Behaviours During the C19 Crisis

If what’s happening in the rest of the world is anything to go by, it looks like the next couple of weeks could be some of the most difficult that we have ever faced in a generation.

It will be a challenging time for leaders and organisations. Leaders will not have dealt with anything like this previously, and its sheer scale and unpredictability will make them question how best to respond.

If you haven’t already done so, acknowledge that this is a crisis that needs a response from your organisation. 

It’s essential to develop a mindset and behaviours that focuses on steering the organisation through situations as they emerge, rather than analysing issues that have already happened. 

There are however, a number of behaviours that will sustain Leaders through this period of crisis.

  • Deliberate Calm– in any crisis situation an effective Leaders must always display a calmness that allows them to stand back from the situation in order to think clearly. This is essential. A Leader in a flap does not inspire confidence.
  • Realistic Optimism– if Leaders are too confident they will lose credibility. It is more effective to project confidence in the organisation’s understanding of the uncertainty and in its determination to use its resources to find a way of dealing with the crisis.
  • Show Empathy– show that you care about what colleagues and their families are experiencing at this time. Pay attention to the difficulties your people are encountering and find the necessary measures to support them.
  • Look After Yourself– during a crisis you can only be effective for so long, especially when the crisis will last for weeks/months. Stress, tiredness, anxiety builds up in people. It is essential that you take care of you own physical and emotional wellbeing. 
  • Communicate widely and often– a current article in the Harvard Business Review puts it well : “Be clear what you know, what you don’t know, and what you’re doing to learn more.” Show that you are following the situation and adjusting your response as you know more. Be open, transparent and present. This is not the time to hide away.

A reminder– the EAP service is there is support Leaders and Managers during this crisis. Do not think that by continuing to “dig deep” you will be able to keep going over the long-term. 

The EAP service is one of the resources available to help sustain you at this time.