Leadership During Uncertainty…

During times of uncertainty and the resulting anxiety it brings, most people are looking to leaders, or voices of reason for words to continue move forward with. Keeping conversations clear and concise is critical to communication. Trying to project alternative messaging, make a statement, taking a stance is not going to be helpful and should be avoided. Sure, leaders do not possess a crystal ball to give us what we really desire (answers to the complex questions) but they do have an engaged audience and the attention that others may not have. They are not the voices that need to publish to be heard, they are typically a voice that is subscribed too. Therefore, an element of positivity and total clarity is key to the communication.

For example, if someone was to ask…When is this all going to end, when do we get back to normal? (use a checklist)

  • Be Positive: Simple statements – We will get back to normal, this is not status quo
  • Be Factual: Over the last “x” days, or weeks we have seen the curve flattening in “x” countries – This has happened because of “x” actions
  • Be Clear: Don’t make your audience guess what you mean, or interpret it differently than stated
  • Provide Perspective: Prior to this situation, here is where we were with regards to the economy, opportunities and technological advancement
  • Be Open-Minded: Answer with – That’s a valid point and lets address this offline and get back to everyone as a whole on our finding
  • Provide Guidance: In “x” days, we will reassess where we are and make the next set of decisions – This will be based on the following criteria and here is where you can find that information
  • Assign Accountability / Ownership: Each item that was not answered, needs to have an individual assigned and estimate on delivery provided – The audience will know who to go to for resolution of “x” issue

Remember – Facts, ultimately speak louder than emotion in the end. Of course, people will tend to gravitate towards emotional, loud, salacious and wild commentary versus a dialog surrounded by facts and figures. Facts don’t get the pageviews and clicks that controversy will. But at the end of the day, people will remember who “lead” them in times of uncertainty and if or when these times happen again (and you know they will) hopefully they will call upon the voices of reason to provide guidance they desperately need.

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