How to Bring Teams Together During Crisis

Crisis is a journey of transformation.

During crisis you and your organization change or die.

crisis is a journey of transformation

Meetings during tough times:

Successful meetings create focus and increase energy.

  1. Reconnect with purpose. Your purpose is bringing value to your customers, not saving the ship. Invite a client you’ve served to the meeting. Listen to their story and reconnect with your purpose. Make it personal, more than informational.
  2. Make it hurt. Pull no punches. What happens to your clients if you fail?
  3. Define the crisis. Embrace the darkness by asking everyone to explaining the worst that could happen. Describe how everyone’s life will change if you fail. It’s silly to dance around a burning house.
  4. Express realistic optimism. Let everyone know how important they are, if they grab the rope and pull.
  5. Talk more about what you can control than what you can’t. Crisis has many components you can’t control. Listen to problems, doubts, and fears. Then say, “I hear what we can’t do. What can we do?”
  6. Assign responsibilities to everyone in the room, everyone. They shouldn’t be at the table, if they aren’t making it better.
  7. Write assignments on the whiteboard along with the name of the responsible person.
  8. Cross off assignments as soon as they’re completed, along with the date. Make progress visible.
  9. Give new assignments after old are completed. Keep the whiteboard-list going.
  10. Pour energy into those who make positive contributions. Minimize dead-weight.

Bonus: Celebrate wins and talk about next steps at the same time.

Leadership language:

  1. We need each other, not I need you.
  2. It’s not about us. It’s about the people we serve.
  3. I’ve seen us rise to challenges in the past. Tell stories of people who faced challenges in the past. Focus on their work and sacrifice more than the win.

Use “we” more than “me.”

What suggestions do you have for running meetings during crisis?