How Do You Lead in a Crisis?

How do you function in a crisis?

When the sh*t hits the fan, we tend to harden our stance, hold on, and focus on the path forward.

We narrow our aperture. It’s instinctual.

But as we learn here from NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Delta CEO Ed Bastian, *listening* is an indispensable tool when dealing with a crisis. This includes purposeful listening to diverse parts of your organization, as well as outside expertise.

Skilled leadership is one that is bias-free and dynamic. This is extremely difficult when working in isolation.

To quote Bastian, “I want to make sure that I’m accessible for anyone who has good ideas.”

The more eyes you have on the situation, the less likely it is that you will remain entrenched in your own thinking or anchored to one solution or plan.

Here are some things to consider as you strengthen your listening capacity and organization’s resiliency:

1. In your crisis scenario planning, map out potential (diverse) pools of information that you can tap into.

2. Take inventory of how often your team members’ input has factored into decisions you’ve made in the past year. Be honest. It may not be often enough.

3. Check your internal company systems and processes to ensure they enable efficient information flow.

What examples do you have of leadership and listening while managing crises?

Get more of the story in Erika James and Lynn Perry Wooten's recent article: In a Crisis, Great Leaders Prioritize Listening.