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Points To Remember When Handling Crisis at Work

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Managing a crisis at work is a difficult task for even the most skilled  leaders. Most individuals prefer avoiding conflict and stressful situations. It is human nature to keep away from things that are going to cause a problem or create a controversy. How you communicate in difficult situations, speaks a lot about you as a person. For instance, you are a manager who is involved in downsizing and now have to tell your employees to leave. Difficult situation isn’t it. You have worked with them on several occasions and communicated quite well; but, this one time you are not able to gather courage. How will you deal with such a situation? Obviously, you can’t put off such a communication as the subject needs to be dealt immediately. Today, let us see how to communicate when handling a crisis situation at work. 

Tips for Communication During Crisis

When you are communicating something difficult, it is important to come across sensitive towards the ones who are concerned. You need to be firm as well as gentle in your tone. You can either have a planned communication or an unplanned discussion. Planned conversations happen when both the parties know what the conversation is going to be about and when and where it will be conducted. These conversations could be an employee review also. While unplanned conversations are instantaneous and may involve anger and sometimes aggression. In such circumstances, a sudden surge of emotion is likely and you have to deal things with calm. For instance, firing an employee or downsizing some facilities provided to employees. In such a situation, you have to be very clear in your communication. Ideally, you should say the truth as eventually it will surface. Handy tips to keep in mind during crisis communication are-

  • Get your facts right. Know when and how you will state the facts and anticipate questions and how you will tactfully deal with them.

  • Take an assertive approach. Don’t go back on your words or change your mind in the middle of a conversation.

  • Try to show empathy. Imagine yourself in other person’s shoes and feel what he/she would be feeling then.

  • Be ready for negotiation. There may arise a situation when you may be asked to negotiate the terms, therefore, aim for win-win outcomes.

  • Listen carefully. In stressful situations, people tend to listen less and talk more. It would be wise to listen carefully and also allow other people to speak out their mind.

  • It is important to stay calm and focused while communicating in a crisis situation. For more tips and tricks, join our online spoken English program and learn to speak English effectively.

 

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- By Chander Madan

 

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