Author: Leland K. Bassett | Date: July 8, 2020
Crisis communication needs can bring out the best – and the worst – in leaders and organizations.
Everything leaders say and do, especially in crisis, is being filtered by receivers of your message and observers of your behavior. It’s their perception – more than your intent – that determines the meaning and effects of your communication.
A sense that you are being authentic – that what you say pairs with what you do – is valued now more than ever, particularly with your internal team.
We know from human communication behavior research, and practical experience, that perception is greater than reality. The receiver of your message determines what it means to them; and that may very well not be the same as you intended.
Effective leaders must have enough confidence in themselves to build a climate of personal and professional safety so that the people they depend on can feel secure enough to be real. Feeding BS to your team may seem to buy time at that moment, but it is destructive over time.
Asking yourself and your organization where you fall on the BS Meter Scale is a helpful starting point.
Each of us develops a BS meter over time. Its sensitivity can vary depending on life experiences. But you can be sure; it is there in your customers, clients, suppliers and team members (employees). They know when you’re spinning a message, or avoiding sharing uncomfortable or disappointing information.
All BS achieves is an increasingly foul smell and the spoiling of your relationships.
Effective crisis communication demands openness, honesty, transparency, authenticity and empathy.
How do you score yourself; gold medal, silver, bronze, or not even close to the stand?