Brighton Leadership Group

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter

How NOT to Communicate During a Crisis

COVID-19 is impacting every human being in some way. This event is occurring whether we like it or not. We get to determine whether the impact will be positive or negative. We get to decide how we will respond and most importantly, communicate.

When communicating in times of crisis do NOT create more FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, or the FUD Factor.

Here are some of the ways FUD is spread:

  • Share inaccurate information. People are craving information and, in the absence (or overabundance) will make up their own stories. Rumors, misinformation, and hunches can spread both panic and complacency. Practice information hygiene by citing the source if you’re passing something on or checking the source if you’re reading something. If the source isn’t stated, ask for it before you accept the information as fact.
  • Wait until you have answers. This is a common point of resistance for leaders during times of change. They want to know more before they share. This is a change that is impacting us all and we can’t afford to wait until answers exist. It’s critical to be transparent with what you do and don’t know. Crisis communication requires leaders to be visible, trustworthy and candid on a consistent basis. Create certainty by committing to a rhythm of communication. Whether or not you have definitive information to share, just showing up makes a statement.
  • Poor word choice. In Illinois we were told to “Stay at Home.” In Michigan the instructions were “Stay Safe Stay Home.” Just a few more words but what a difference in the message! We are all being told to practice “social distancing.” How much better would it be to say, stay physically distanced but socially connected. The words you use matter, so choose them wisely and make sure they will have the intended impact.

Communication is the lifeblood of relationships. It’s what keeps teams functioning, workers productive and organizations profitable. Watch out for FUD-inducing communication killers. As this (or any) crisis unfolds, proactive, consistent and thoughtful communication is critical.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Articles

lead with purpose

3 Ways to Lead With Purpose

We are celebrating Freedom week in honor of the Rebel Leader Community launch. You are free to lead with purpose is the theme of today’s …

Read More →
A curious leader

The Case for Curious Leadership

Nothing new comes from the status quo. There is no new awareness, no problem solving, no value creation, no innovation and no adaptability without asking …

Read More →
Leaving the Pack

Defy the Leadership Default

Have you observed the lack of effective leadership in the United States? Rather than uniting us with a positive, powerful purpose, the people in positions …

Read More →

YOUR Leadership Manifesto

The world is hungry for heroes, leaders who are not just great, but also good. Create a leadership manifesto to make it clear how you …

Read More →
Scroll to Top