How To Lead Your Team Through Crisis

There’s an old phrase that says, “During tough times, tough people last well.” 

I know in the middle of a crisis, it’s hard to be focused on toughness.  

You’re just trying to get through it.  

Your team is trying to get through it.  

Crises are very hard times for any organization, particularly for teams of people who are focused on helping others.  

During a crisis, it’s easy to get disconnected. 

You react to things rather than respond to things.  

As a leader, it’s hard to be successful during a crisis.  

It’s hard for anyone to thrive in a crisis.  

A crisis can take an organization down if you don’t have the tools to lead your team through it. 

I would like to give you a simple framework and insight to things that will help lead your team through a crisis.  

1. Acknowledge the reality of the crisis. 

Some leaders try to lead through a crisis while not focused on it. 

They try to keep people focused on doing business as usual. 

But there’s no such thing as business, as usual when you’re in the middle of the crisis. 

Business has changed. 

If you don’t take the time to acknowledge this, you will be seen as a leader living in oblivion.  

A leader who doesn’t see the reality and one that no one wants to follow. 

2. Give your team information. 

Misinformation is rampant during a crisis.  

You’ve got to find a consistent way to give your team information about how you’re responding to the crisis and what you need them to do.  

To do that, you must create a schedule. 

Your schedule is normally having a staff meeting once a week, or maybe a department meeting once a month.  

In the middle of a crisis, however, you’ve got to have more frequent communication. 

You may want to set up a daily cadence where you have the opportunity to give your team information from the horse’s mouth. 

Give them the opportunity to know what’s going on in real time. 

Create a schedule, where you give your team information in the middle of the crisis.  

3. Connect with your team. 

Try to find a way to make meetings face to face.  

Worst case scenario is using a conference call, but there are so many avenues to schedule face to face meetings. 

You must find a way to talk to your team on a regular basis. 

Find a way to connect with them.  

Remind them to take care of themselves.  

Self-care is something that is easily lost by the wayside in the middle of the crisis.  

You’re sometimes working 20-hour days.  

You forget that you need rest.  

You forget that you need vitamins.  

Sometimes you forget to eat. 

Connect with your team and remind them to take care of themselves.  

4. Inspire your team. 

In the middle of the crisis, nobody feels like being inspired.  

Nobody feels like being motivated or being pumped up in the middle of a crisis because it’s a hard thing to go through. 

That’s why you need it more than ever.  

Inspiration is kind of like oxygen.  

You need it every day.  

Your team needs inspiration to survive. 

The best person to give your team that inspiration is you.  

You’re the leader for these times.  

You were put in this position for a reason.  

You’re the one that is going to help your team through this crisis.  



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