If a crisis happened today, are you comfortable your organisation has the right plan and the right people in place to respond swiftly and effectively to show authentic leadership?
Many high-profile leaders have shown us how crucial presence and authenticity are in order to ensure actions and motivations are trusted as well as how these traits need to be nurtured outside of a crisis.
The Authenticity of a Leader
The first thing first, your leader needs to come across as genuine when responding to crises. Communicating with authentic language shows a genuine kind of compassion that marks a true leader.
Here are three key components any authentic leader needs to possess:
- Emotional Authenticity
This means sharing your insights and opinions in a way that is true to your feelings and emotions. It is a means to display a genuine exhibition of emotion. This includes increasing
self-awareness as a leader via unbiased processing of strengths and weaknesses, therefore, cultivating compassion and transmitting it to others with humility.
- Behavioural Authenticity
Behaving authentically means acting in accord with one’s values, preferences, and needs as opposed to acting merely to please others, comply with expectations, or conform to social norms. This includes acting in line with your brand’s principles whilst staying in control. It is of great importance to thoughtfully choose words and behaviours to resonate with the affected audience.
- Social Authenticity
This includes building a brand that is authentic with a kind and caring mentality while also promoting an inclusive identity. Your brand’s social community should also share the changes you make as a crisis leader to achieve a uniform balance.
Leaders today are facing an enormous test of character. While your brand could be undergoing the crisis of the century, your authentic crisis manager will be able to understand the risks from said crises and subsequent actions, which can be the difference between surviving and succumbing to them. Authenticity is a quality that could differentiate a poor leader from a great one and provides the ability to turn around a crisis.
Authentic leaders are self-actualised individuals who are aware of their strengths, limitations, emotions, and genuinely lead with their heart, not just their minds. Communicating in a direct manner is critical to successful outcomes, but it’s done with empathy. By being direct, you present as a confident and unshakeable entity. Directness without empathy comes across as and typically is cruel. This is important to remember as crises can often involve others’ health and wellbeing.
Providing a calm, compassionate and strategic response to a crisis, can portray a genuine message and enable cohesiveness between those who are affected. A defensive and disconnected message can lead to a narrative of evasiveness and create a struggle to gain trust. Your PR crisis team and its insights and guidance can only take you so far, so ask yourself, does your brand have an authentic crisis leader?