Communications When Things Go Wrong

Communications When Things Go Wrong

Winning Friends In A Crisis – How To Manage Communications When Things Go Wrong!

How you handle communications when things go wrong is important.  Bad communications when things go wrongthings happen in all organisations. Sometime the problem lies within the organization. Sometimes it is the environment outside that causes a crisis. To respond well as a manager, you need a strategy that will do the following

  • Deal with the problem causing the crisis;
  • Assist any victims and those directly affected;
  • Communicate with, and enlist, the support of employees.
  • Inform those indirectly affected; and
  • Manage the media and all external stakeholders in the organization.

Seven dimensions

For communications when things go wrong, there are seven dimensions to consider. These will be  important if you want to communicate in a way that limits damage. Particularly to the reputation of the organization. There may be limitations on what you can say for legal reasons. But, the nearer you get to covering the seven dimensions, the more effective your communications will be.

The seven dimensions to consider for communications when things go wrong

  1.  Candor. A public acknowledgement that a problem exists and a commitment to put it right, usually wins trust. And it will win respect for the organization.
  2. Explanation. Explain promptly and clearly what went wrong. Base this on the knowledge available at the time and any legal constraints. If there is not yet full information, make a commitment to report regularly. Tell people when they can expect more information. Continue making reports until full information is available or public interest dissipates.
  3. Declaration. Make a clear public commitment to take steps to address and resolve any issues raised by the incident.
  4. Contrition. Make it clear that you, and those in charge of the organization, are sorry for what has happened. Show empathy and regret. If there is reason to be embarrassed, then show embarrassment about what has happened and for allowing it to happen.
  5. Consultation: Ask for help from pubic authorities and anyone else who can provide it, if that will help those hurt or prevent this from happening again. Do this even if it means accepting help from opponents or competitors.
  6. Commitment: Be prepared to make a promise that, to the best of the organisation’s ability, similar situations will never occur again.
  7. Restitution: Find a way to quickly pay the price, compensate and make restitution.

Go the extra mile

Show in your communications that you are prepared to go beyond what people would expect, or what is legally required, to put things right. Adverse situations remedied quickly, usually cost far less. They are controversial for shorter periods of time.

This is the gold standard. The closer you get to it, the more respect there will be for you, and your organization. Plus the sooner the public are likely to forgive, if not forget.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Favourites at work

Favourites at work

Managing People – The Dangers of Having Favourites !

Favourites at work – many, many years moons ago, I worked with children.  They were boys between the ages of seven and eleven. And, for me, they were at the most interesting stage in their development.  I saw them gaining in awareness and personality with views of their own about pretty much everything.  It was tempting to spend time with a particular child that you liked. This would have been at the expense of a child that really needed your attention. Sometime later I found the same thing could happen in nursing. That patient who was so appealing might be lavished with greater care. Favouring a particular patient or a particular child would have been, at the very least, unprofessional. And if you think about it, it could lead to harm.

As a manager showing that you have favourites can also be disastrous. I don’t mean that excellence, high performance and value to the organization should not be recognised.  But an organization cannot succeed in meeting its goals without the full cooperation and collaboration of all its members. If people believe they do not all have the same chance of gaining a reward, they switch off and become de-motivated.  They need to know that everyone plays by the same rules and is judged in the same way.

Having favourites at work is risky

There may be particular risks when a manger is newly promoted from within a work group.  Friendships can be maintained but they need to be kept for outside the workplace. It is a good idea to discuss this with the friend. Then agree from the outset how you will both make it clear no special benefits come from the friendship. The same thing goes for people that you did not get on with particularly well. It may be worth having a conversation to clear the air. Make sure that people understand you will be making a fresh start.

Remember having favourites can easily slip into discrimination. Recognise that from the start and resolve to be a manager who does not have favourites!

Working with a career coach really can help you succeed as a manager. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Managing diverse teams

Managing diverse teams

Managing divers teams – I believe that diverse teams are powerful when well managed provide. They provide individual team members with an energising and exciting place to work. Here are some tips on managing diverse teams.

Recognize that people come with different needs. People are different for all kinds of reasons; age, sex or ethnic background being just the start.  But don’t assume that just because they are old/young, male/female, black/white etc that they will be different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what each one need from you to succeed.

Recognize and give credit for wisdom.  People bring a variety od learning and experience.  All will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends.  Take time to find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.

Stand your ground, but do so with respect for difference.  If you are the leader and accountable for results, do your job. People will be looking for you to lead and they can, quite rightfully, feel resentful if you leave them lost and without leadership.  But lead with respect for all.

Be ready to learn from them. Be honest when you don’t know how to do something.  If someone does have the answer, be humble enough to let them show you. It’s okay that you have some things to learn. We all do! You will be respected for your honesty.

Don’t avoid issues or fail to handle conflict. Don’t be tempted to make  excuses for not knowing something, pretend you have more experience than members of your team. Don’t duck issues that arise between team members.  Unresolved conflicts fester. Deal quickly with any indication of bullying.

Be honest with people. People value honesty expressed with  care and courtesy.  Treat them as you would like to be treated.

Practice patience.  People may be more or less culturally, technologically, or trend, savvy.  That doesn’t mean they will not be valuable.  Take time to find out about them, then train where necessary. Different kinds of people may need different forms of communication or you may need to explain something in a different context.

Above all, enjoy the experience that working in a team with people from a mix of backgrounds brings. Their strengths will make for a powerful team

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link