Women business leaders likely have an advantage over their male counterparts if ever confronted by a corporate crisis.
Many readers will no doubt recall a moment in their lives when their very own mother had to face and solve a crisis. Women business leaders with families have probably already faced and solved myriad family crisis.
Most important in any crisis situation is to short-circuit denial. It’s a human trait when disaster strikes to go straight into “this cannot possibly be happening to me.” Or “if it is happening, it cannot be that bad.” Or, “even if it IS that bad, no one will ever notice…” The faster you move beyond this denial, the faster you can put in the right fixes and that makes all the difference to how the crisis unfolds, and how you will be remembered.
Here are 13 of Davia Temin’s the most important Crisis Management rules.
- Don’t hedge. Just because you may have gotten away with something before–or know of others who have–do not assume that you will do so now. Assume that–eventually–all will be known, and design your actions accordingly.
- Control yourself. Control your emotions. Just when your emotions will be going wild, you must conquer them and think strategically and smartly.
- Don’t retreat. Keep your eyes on the outside. You will be tempted to withdraw into your inner world, but keep focused on the exterior reaction. You’ll make better decisions and it could help privately as well.
- Move quickly. Move quickly to assess the situation and damage, and to not only publicly strike the right note, but to start doing the right things.
- Hone your message. Figure out what the right note–message, tone, words, delivery mechanism–is.
- DO NOT LIE. Never make a public denial when it’s a lie–there is no better way to be hated.
- Know your crisis. Each crisis is different–the particulars matter. So never just copy the responses of others, though you can learn from those who have done it well.
- Keep your humanity intact. Limit your liability–but not your humanity–in how you respond to a situation.
- Check your moral compass. Use the opportunity to reset your moral compass (i.e., listen to your lawyers, but not to the exclusion of your conscience).
- Do the right thing. If you must, take your medicine–apologize, make reparations–and then put in lasting, game-changing solutions.
- Don’t disappear. Become a visible and real part of the solution–no matter what it takes.
- Align with the good guys. Begin to be identified with best cases, so that your own “worst case” is forgotten over time.
- Don’t ever do it again. Never, ever, ever make the same mistake again.
When a crisis strikes, the reparation of your reputation begins with the steps you take at the outset of and throughout the resolution of the crisis. If you do the proper things, you will mitigate the tarnishing of your brand.
First and foremost, do not succumb to the human frailty of self denial. Be intuitive, be forthcoming and transparent and above all DO NOT LIE.
Read Davia Temin’s complete article, Reputation Rehab.
Davia is CEO and president of Temin and Co., a global reputation and crisis management, coaching and marketing strategy consultancy working with corporations and institutions on some of the largest and most headline-grabbing crises of the day. Her website is teminandco.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/DaviaTemin. Here she gives no-nonsense advice on handling crises large and small.