In crisis management, the little things matter. While it is vital to oversee the entire situation on a macro level, in many ways, the minutiae are all the more important. Small influences on the management of a situation can take a crisis and turn it from a tragedy into a traumatic, but managed, event.
One of the most important fine details of managing a crisis is the behavior of the crisis management leader. With the right guidance, a crisis manager can utilise a number of key traits to control the situation as well as possible. If you’re curious as to what these traits are, read on…
1 – A firm focus on facts
In a crisis scenario, it’s very easy for misinformation to spread. In the aftermath of major terrorist attacks, most of us will have seen how wild, speculative theories can take hold. A good crisis manager has to be willing to only focus on what they know, rather than hearsay spread by panic and hysteria.
2 – Calm decision-making
Crisis managers have to make decisions under duress, which can lead to understandable-but-concerning snap decisions. A good crisis management leader will be able to break away from the situation around them mentally. They’ll focus on the facts, and make a decision as calmly as they possibly can.
3 – A willingness to research their role
A good crisis management leader has to be willing to research in order to perform their duties effectively. They should, for example, read the floor plan of a building, as well as continually familiarising themselves with escape routes and fire exits.
Furthermore, this information has to be read, and re-read, so that the crisis leader instantly knows where they need to be in the event of a disaster.
4 – The ability to speak up (and ensure people listen)
The management of a crisis can be spoiled by “too many cooks”. Effective crisis management leaders are willing to step up and shoulder the responsibility individually. They take charge, and potentially overrule others who are suggesting unworkable advice. This takes a huge amount of personal strength and self-belief. If a crisis manager has these personality traits, they are more likely to be able to speak up, and be heard.
5 – An ability to reassure people
In a crisis, the management of people is crucial. However, frightened people can be very difficult to manage. They are not thinking clearly, and liable to do things they would never elect to do in an everyday scenario. A good crisis management leader is able to focus on these people and keep them calm. They do this by knowing the right words to say to them individually or acting with enough authority that people naturally fall into line behind them.
6 – A willingness to delegate
While crisis managers have to control the situation individually, they also have to be willing to delegate. Take, for example, the Bystander Effect – a known psychological phenomenon whereby people stand and watch rather than taking action. The best way to overcome the Bystander Effect is to delegate tasks to individual people. For example, rather than assuming someone will call 999, point to a person and outright tell them to call 999.
Ultimately, no one person can manage a crisis alone. A crisis management leader has to be able and willing to delegate quickly and efficiently.
Crisis management leaders all need to possess the six traits above to be able to perform their role. By ensuring your chosen crisis management leader is capable of these traits, you can be more confident of your business’ ability to effectively manage any crisis scenario.
Kiasu Crisis Management provide Crisis Management Training all throughout the UK