Crisis Leadership with DISC

Leading with DISC Through Times of Uncertainty

Leaders have a crucial role during times of crisis. Employees look to them for guidance and answers, as well as reassurance that everything will be okay. Leaders trained in DISC behavioral styles understand every employee will respond differently during times of uncertainty; therefore, they can react appropriately when communicating across the organization. Below are things to consider when addressing the entire organization via e-mail or other mass communication platforms.

Stick to the facts

(Your “D” and “C” style employees will thank you.)

Employees will likely be glued to online and TV news sources, receiving frequent updates that may or may not contain accurate information. It is a leader’s responsibility to keep personal opinions and emotions out of direct communications with staff and employees. Provide reputable sources for any crisis-related information provided, and the timeframe it was received, noting it may be subject to change. Keep the focus on providing information directly impacting the organization and employees, keeping pertinent information in the forefront and fearful rumors to a minimum.

Allow Q&A time

(Your “S” and “I” style employees will thank you.)

When feasible, host a face-to-face group session or virtual group session with staff and employees to allow them to voice concerns and ask questions. Set up a system enabling employees to ask questions in advance to give yourself time to understand their concerns and research the best information available. Following this approach will keep the organization informed and connected, which is vital during times of crisis.

Connect with other leaders to provide leadership insights

(All DISC styles will thank you.)

Leaders are human and feel the impact of crisis just as much as their staff and employees. Take the opportunity to connect with your leadership peers and trusted mentors. You, as the leader, must have a support system in place to help navigate you through the time of crisis. It may be helpful to share your concerns with trusted confidants, ask for feedback on significant decisions before implementing, or vent any overwhelming frustration you are experiencing. It will help you reset and maintain resiliency so you can continue leading your organization without getting burned out.

Encourage team connection

(All DISC styles will thank you.)

Isolation can be detrimental for some during times of crisis. Some situations result in less social interaction or a cease in activities that would otherwise offer the opportunity for community and connection. Now is the time when it’s most important for organizational leaders to empower managers and teams to develop creative ways to stay connected, check-in on teammates, and notify leadership of any critical personnel needs or circumstances. It is amazing to see leaders step up and take charge, caring for employees and their families, and embracing non-traditional roles in times of crisis.

Some crises are short-lived, lasting only weeks or months; others may continue with residual effects lasting for years. Equipping yourself as a leader, as well as your staff and employees, to thrive during times of crisis will strengthen your organization by effectively communicating, connecting, and collaborating with purpose, keeping the well-being of everyone in mind.

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Written by: Lindy Lamielle

Lindy is a retired Air Force veteran, Certified Behavioral Life Coach, and DISC Consultant and entrepreneur who enjoys learning and sharing knowledge. When she's not sitting on the soccer field sidelines or putting out teenage fires, she fills her cup through speaking, writing, coaching small business owners and entrepreneurs, and performing a little social media sourcery. Personality Style: S-I