Building Trust in Crisis


Hi, Claire Laughlin here with your Trust Tip of the Week. 

And what a week it has been! 

Let me start with this: In times of crisis or conflict- trust can be built or diminished, exponentially. 

Crisis creates fear, uncertainty, and urgency- and those 3 things together are like a lethal cocktail that can spark reactivity and can deeply compromise our ability to connect with one another and make good sound decisions.

The thing is, even if YOU don’t feel fear, uncertainty, or urgency- others do...It’s in the air right now. 

So your tip for the week is twofold: Connect with Yourself, and Lead with Empathy. 

First, connect with yourself so that you don’t unintentionally impose YOUR feelings on others. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed and fearful, that’s one thing… but if you are unconscious about that, and projecting those feelings or acting badly because of those feelings, that’s a real trust breaker. 

For example, imagine that you are swept up in the news and trying to make decisions for your company, and one of your employees comes to you to ask what’s going on, and you, because of your own stress level, say to them, 

“How am I supposed to know! I don’t have a crystal ball! Can’t you just be patient while we figure this out! I’ve got bigger concerns than keeping you in the loop!”


That’s a real trust breaker, and it does NOT help your leadership credibility. 

Because remember, trust is built or diminished exponentially in times of crisis and conflict. 

If instead, you were in touch with your own feelings and committed to leading with empathy, you would respond very differently. 

You might say, “I know this is a tough time and I apologize. I know it’s hard to wait for information and we are all feeling a lot of uncertainty. I’m definitely experiencing a good bit of stress. I want to assure you that we are trying to make the right decisions, and more information is coming in every hour, so we are doing our best. I promise I will let you know the moment that I have any answers… and right now, I urge you to just prepare to take work home…”

In this example, you stay calm, address the emotional undercurrent, be transparent about what is happening for you, and demonstrate empathy

These are critical moments, and how you show up is going to make a big difference. 

Honestly, if you have invested in building trust, and you have a strong foundation, then you’ll probably get a lot more leeway from your team right now. 

But if you have low trust in your environment, then consider this an opportunity to start to rebuild. 

There is so much at stake right now, that I will be leading a LIVE webinar this week to talk about how to lead in times of crisis. 

I hope you’ll join me. Register HERE. 

Thanks for listening!

Now- stay well, and go be a trust builder!


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