If you’ve ever led in the midst of a crisis, no matter how large, you know that teams work together in a different way when challenges arise. Crisis times are stressful; there’s change happening at light speed; people are reevaluating responsibilities and asking questions.
As a leader, there’s one crucial element you must bring to your team during this time: a steady hand. In the midst of crisis, your people have a need for steady emotions; a steady mind; a calm demeanor. They need to know that they’re going to be okay—that you’re going to lead them through it.
It’s tempting to give into the overwhelming emotions that come with upheaval. It would be all too easy to allow anxiety and frustration to take over. As a leader, you can’t do this. You can have a breakdown later on, when the waters are calmer, and you’ve reached the other side. Right now, you’ve got to set the emotional temperature.
You see, your team members are getting their emotional cues from you! If you’re leading with fear and anxiety, they will follow suit. If you’re calm and collected, they’ll feel more reassured and at ease. This is something we rarely talk about, but it’s so essential to handling crisis well.
If you’re a leader going through crisis, take time to regain your composure in private. When you’re with your team, make a commitment to providing steadiness and reassurance. Then, regardless of how your crisis plays out, they’ll feel secure with you at the helm.