Over the last year, we’ve experienced a shift in the kinds of skills and strengths we require from our leaders. The pandemic, changes in the way we do work, and other advancements in technology have changed the kind of leadership we expect in a crisis.

While the traditional skills we expect in leaders like trustworthiness, the ability to motivate others, creativity, and responsibility are still crucial today, there are specific strengths that we need from modern leaders in times of uncertainty. Here are four crucial things leaders need to do during a crisis:

1. Practice Clear Communication

A leader’s ability to communicate is often seen as the most important skill to have, and for good reason. In times of uncertainty, your team needs to be fully informed about the strategy and intent of your processes.

@CaliperCorp breaks down the 4 skills you need for #CrisisLeadership. See how you can develop your skills and keep your team engaged. Click To Tweet

Leaders need to be honest and transparent in their communications with their team. When leaders withhold information, it can lead to feelings of mistrust or doubt. And nothing will eat away at your team’s culture more than feeling as though you cannot rely on or trust one another.

In order to promote clear, honest communication, you need to start by asking yourself what questions your team is asking. Then, work to find experts, other resources, or data that can help you to educate your team and answer their questions as accurately as possible. Your job as a leader during a crisis is not to completely alleviate the uncertainty – the situation in and of itself breeds uncertainty –  but rather to alleviate any anxiety or stress your team feels.

By approaching your communications with an informed, honest, and direct approach, you can help to acknowledge the uncertainty being faced and move forward as a cohesive team.

2. Make Decisions Quickly

In the midst of a crisis, you need to be able to rely on a leader that can make speedy decisions. Often, there isn’t time to evaluate all your options, consolidate the advice and opinions of others, and make an informed decision. Instead, leaders need to be able to infer from the information they are presented and make a quick choice on how to tweak their processes to better fit the current landscape.

When facing a crisis, things can change hour-by-hour. As a leader, you need to be able to fight the natural tendency to aim for a consensus when it comes to decision-making. You must break through your tendency towards inertia and focus on the aspects of your organization that matter most. A simple, scalable framework for rapid decision-making is critical.

Bonus Material: Check out what lessons other leaders have learned throughout the course of the pandemic.

3. Promote Agility

As a leader, you are not expected to know everything. Especially in times of crisis, it is okay to admit that you don’t have the answer.

But, strong leaders need to be able to survey their surroundings, interpret them and adjust their approach to better fit their situation. The best leaders are ones that are willing and able to pivot and lead through changes while keeping their teams engaged and committed to their overall goals.

In times of crisis, you need a leader that can step up to the plate, embrace change, and not shy away from failure. There’s a strong chance that you’re currently experiencing something entirely new, meaning you have no previous experience to base your decisions on. Find yourself a leader that isn’t afraid to stumble and fall, but picks themselves up and tries again until they find the right approach.

In times of crisis, #leaders need to be able to step up and guide their team towards #stability. See what 4 skills @CaliperCorp says leaders need now more than ever: Click To Tweet

4. Demonstrate Empathy

It is important for leaders to remain empathetic during a time of crisis.

It is expected that your team will have many questions, concerns, fears, and anxieties over this uncertain situation. As a leader, it is your job to deepen your connections with your team and remember that they are likely out of their element or comfort zones, too.

As more organizations move towards a remote or hybrid working situation, we’ve been granted an inside look at the personal lives of our colleagues. Where we had previously had a barrier between home and working life, both now bleed into one another. Leaders must deal with the emotional lives of their teams by demonstrating empathy and keeping them connected to one another and to the organization.

In a time of crisis, your company and team become an important source of community. Together you provide support for one another. Leaders need to be able to leverage the strengths of their teams to adapt and grow.

When it comes to times of uncertainty, you need to be able to rely on the support, insight, and guidance from strong leaders. Luckily, Caliper’s science-backed assessments and development solutions help you place growth at the forefront of your employee development plans. Caliper’s Individual Development Guide helps to promote self-growth and self-awareness by customizing and aligning your development with training sessions. To learn more or see how you can work to develop yourself and your team into better leaders, reach out to us and see what you can do with Caliper.