Can You Lead When Your Team is in Crises?

Can You Lead When Your Team is in Crises?

With most of the country now entering the second week of voluntary or mandatory quarantine and no or remote-work status, our personal and work worlds have changed. As a leader, be prepared to lead your teams to and through their emotional, psychological and physical reactions to the changes they’re experiencing. How you lead your teams in the second stage of change will exemplify how you can or can not lead in crises.

How you lead your teams in the second stage of change will show if you can or can not lead in crises

In at least one leadership training program, you’ve no doubt discussed the four basic stages of change. Individuals, teams, and organizations will experience four stages of change when they are confronted with and then experience something new, different, and possibly unwanted.

The Four Stages of Change are:

  1. Denial =

    What? What’s happening? I can’t believe that? That won’t really happen to me/us?

  2. Anger =

    This @*%& is really happening to me/us! This is so unfair! I don’t like this and don’t want to be a part of it! I don’t have control over this!

  3. Exploration =

    How can I make this work for me/us? What can I/we do to …? What if we try…? I’ve figured out how to… If we change this, we can then…

  4. Commitment =

    This is how things are now. This doesn’t work as well as…but it’s working. I miss being able to…but I’m glad we can now… Now that we have things worked out, this is pretty cool!

What you and your teams are experiencing now is the real-world application of the Stages of Change theory. Some of your teams may already be operating fairly well in stages 3 and 4. For many others though, your teams are going to be moving out of the initial denial stage, and will be landing solidly in the Anger stage. Because of that, they’ll need you to lead more decisively than ever.

When teams are moving into or are in the Anger Stage, they need their leaders to commit more than ever to: be communicative, be present, be visible, be engaged, be involved in identifying and rectifying issues, roadblocks, and other work performance challenges. Teams in the anger stage are often angry because they’re scared, uninformed, and vulnerable to believing gossip and misinformation.

Teams in the anger stage are often angry because they’re scared, uninformed, and vulnerable to believing gossip and misinformation

If you’re not already talking with, being available to, and providing information as you can to your teams every day, start now. Send regular short emails, video messages, or texts letting your teams know that they are your primary concern, you’re working to keep them informed, involved, and included as you all work through these challenging times together. Be clear in what you need of them. Share with them what you are doing to move things forward. Communicate more than you ever have. Your communications don’t need to be flashy. They need to be real, candid, and timely. Start today.

Lead When Your Team is in Crises

For additional information on how to lead your team in crises, read Patrick Lencioni’s 3 Thoughts for Leaders In a Perilous Time on Chief Executive.


Copyright MMXX – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.

Liz Weber CMC CSP

Liz Weber CMC

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.


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