It doesn’t matter what kind of leader or manager you are, there comes a time when you face a crisis and all that you knew about managing your team falls by the wayside. The structure you relied upon to communicate and pass out instructions to your team is no longer effective and people are looking to for guidance.
A crisis isn’t something that you should be intimidated by. It may be nasty, frightening, dangerous even, but your management and leadership skills will carry you though the event, if your remain calm and confident. Remember, if you do nothing, then things are likely to get worse on their own, so doing something thoughtful and constructive will be beneficial and what more can be expected of you. If you could plan for a crisis, it wouldn’t be a crisis, merely a contingency.
Hopefully it will never happen but if you do face a crisis, it is well worth having thought about the things you will need to do before the event. Here are 7 tips that will help you over the first few hurdles.
1. Don’t PANIC! Just like the hitch-hikers guide states! Panicking will not let you think clearly enough to make rational decisions. Just realise that you only need to take a few quick steps to get people working towards a solution and then take a moment to think.
2. Find out what is really happening. Get some team members to gather information so that you have a better understanding of the situation
3. Quickly triage the important things that need to be address and delay dealing with the non essential things to you have time. The priorities are:
- Safety, yours and the teams
- Will the problem get worse if you do not act?
- What are the first 3 things you need to achieve to get moving in the right direction
- Who can help you?
- What should your team be doing? An active team worries less!
- Who do you need to inform?
4. Identify the resources that you have.
5. Draw up some preliminary plans and get the team moving. Things will change, that is the nature of a crisis, but activity will gain you momentum, again steady the team and give you more information on the crisis.
6. Monitor the situation and modify your plan to meet the changing environment.
7. ACT! Spend no more time in planning than you need. As General Patton said ‘A good plan today is better than the perfect plan tomorrow!’
In a crisis, people will look to you for leadership. Be bold and confident and get people acting. Your confidence will grow as you see your decisions and actions baring fruit and you team will bask in that confidence to.
Dare to Aspire