How To Speak To Employees And Customers During A Crisis
Language, what you say and how you say it, has always been important in business. That’s especially true for the leader of any company. As a leader, what you say affects how your employees, customers and community react, particularly during hard times.
In the light of recent events, what you say now matters more than ever.
The world is a crazy place right now. As some state and local governments issue mandatory stay-at-home orders, dealers are working hard to find footing in a rapidly changing landscape. But we must do the best we can with the limited information and resources we have.
And while we might not know when this thing will blow over, we do know that it will. In the meantime, you still have a company to run, employees to lead and customers to serve.
Your employees need you. They look to you as the guiding force behind your company. And as a leader, both your employees and the people of your community will look to what you say and do as an example of how to react to current events.
That means the language you use during these uncertain times will shape the attitudes and moods of your employees and customers. It will also shape their opinions of your organization in a way that will last after the pandemic is over.
Here are a couple of ways you can use language during a crisis:
Keep A Level Head
You are charting a path for your company. What you say will impact how your employees respond to the situation. This is why it’s so important that you speak calmly and rationally. If you speak calmly and rationally, it will influence those around you to take a calmer approach to the situation at hand. Ultimately, this will help put them at ease, lessening any feelings of panic or anxiety your staff may be feeling.
Use More Strategy-Focused And Future-Pacing Language
People positively respond to clear direction. By using more strategy-focused language, like “action” and “opportunity,” you’re showing your employees that you’re forward-thinking. You’re displaying that despite the situation you’re still thinking about their best interests and have a plan on how to proceed. This also helps communicate that you’re confident that this too will pass and that you will make it through to the other side.
Keep Up To Date With The News
Being fully informed about the situation is the best way to ensure that any information you’re sharing or any decisions you’re making are done so in the correct context. It’s important to get your information from an unbiased source, as many news outlets will frame information in a way that aligns with their particular stance.
No one knows what’s going to happen.
We don’t have a crystal ball. But we do know that if you continue to captain your ship and use the right language, your business can navigate this situation and any other crisis the future may hold.
Want more information about how your dealership can react to the ever-changing situation? Download our eBook How To Keep Your Dealership Running While The Lights Are Still On.