When a crisis hits we meet the real leader that is you. How do you want to show up?
We see this playing out before our eyes as leaders around the world choose different approaches to communication.
Observing these different styles, here is what works and what doesn’t:
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- Showing up consistently each day (this builds trust with those you serve).
- Relying on objective evidence, fact, and science (and when it is your opinion, say “This is my opinion.”)
- Taking ownership. Effective leaders say, “If you’re upset, be upset with me. I’m responsible for these decisions.” Ineffective leaders say, “I take no responsibility at all.”
- Answer all questions (even the dumb ones). Don’t take things personally. There are no “nice” or “nasty” questions.
- Stay focused and on topic. Your communication can be brief and to the point, so people can get back to work serving your community.
- The best leaders talk about how we’re in this together. They use words like “us,” “we,” and “our.” Egocentric leaders focus on “I” and wonder “why is this happening to me?”
- Responsible leaders plan for the future. They are present during a crisis and respond to the immediate urgent needs. Yet, they also have one foot in the future planning for the worst (and hoping for the best). Irresponsible leaders get caught unprepared and think “no one saw this coming.”
So how are you showing up? What kind of leader do you want to be?
(At least) four things you could be planning for right now:
- School out for the remainder of the year.
- School out through next fall (or longer).
- How will your school respond if/when you lose a student, parent, or faculty member to this virus?
- What will the first day back to school be like? You have an opportunity to something very special with this one (think: The Power of Moments).