Crisis management – are you good at it?

untitledIt is surprising to see leaders react strongly to daily challenges. Often this reaction drifts into low grade crisis mode. This can also be perceived by staff as increased stress and sometimes, low grade panic. Why do leaders expect an easy ride? We are paid, as leaders, to deal with challenges and problems – it’s our job! If problems and challenges did not exist we would not be required. Reading on.


  • Control you emotions
  • Have a pressure relief valve
  • Let your staff vent
  • Be calm, get promoted

Control your emotions

A key management role is to deal with problems while presenting a calming influence on the business. It is the job of management to expect problems and crisis to arise. When you are faced with a crisis how do your staff and fellow leaders perceive your emotional response? Are you calm and controlled or flying off the handle? As leaders we cannot afford the luxury of venting. Our job is to provide an umbrella of emotional stability to our staff and the business.

Have a pressure relief valve!

However managers are not robots. There is a need to have a safe place to blow off steam. This is a good tool that allows us to provide calm leadership to our teams. When I was a new leader I worked for a VP that gave me some great advice. He said “you can come into my office and throw up on my desk, but I expect you to present a confident and calm face to the business”. He was my pressure relief value. You will need that safe place to vent.

Let your staff vent

Too many organizations judge harshly when staff vent. If it’s in public and damaging then it’s inappropriate behaviour. However, we are all human and you should allow your staff a safe place to vent. That’s your office or some other private place. Do you allow your team members to use you as a pressure relief value? Or do you demand that they contain the stress to the point where it blows? And it will blow, either at work or at home. Neither is appropriate. As a manager you need to help your staff manage stress.

Be calm, get promoted!

An employee who demonstrates good crisis management, calmness in the storm, and clear decision making with a rational thought process, is highly valuable. They are promotable. How are you perceived by your leader, your peers, and your staff in the middle of a storm? It is important for you to develop calmness and quiet leadership in a crisis. This is part of what makes a good leader.

How do you behave in a crisis? Are you the “go to” person or are you part of the crisis hype?

David Reimer


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