The First Thing You Should Do When Disaster Strikes

When a crisis happens, people naturally look to you for guidance. What is the first thing you should do to manage the situation?

As a leader, you'll often be faced with crises which need to be dealt with. That's an incredibly stressful situation to be in, because you'll very rarely hold all the answers. When there's a business disaster, the first thing you should do is simple – communicate exactly what's going on to everyone involved.

If you keep the situation to yourself, it can only end badly. Problems are never going to improve with time; they require prompt, decisive action to nip them in the bud before they escalate into something unmanageable. By letting people know what is going on, you ensure everyone pulls together – it's that team strength which will see you through.

Not putting people in the picture can backfire and make things even worse. People don't like to be kept in the dark, especially if it's bad news which might affect them. They won't look kindly on you if you keep it to yourself at the start and it comes out later on, particularly if the situation has now deteriorated and is out of your control.

There's also truth in the saying that 'two heads are better than one'. Once people are informed, you don't just get two heads, you get your entire team thinking of solutions and ways to manage the crisis. The answers can come from the most unexpected places and when people throw ideas around with one another, you may find you reach the solution far faster than trying to think on your own.

Communication is key in any crisis. Start the conversation and keep talking if you want to get through it.


Problems don't improve with time
Informing people pulls the team together
People hate being kept in the dark when it might affect them
Two heads are better than one when seeking a solution