When the news is scary and the future is uncertain, many employees will look to managers for reassurance — even though you might not have the answers yourself.
You can help by first finding your own sense of focus.
Then focus on your team and what you can do as a team:
- Before you start communicating, take a minute to pause and breathe.
- Then put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are their concerns, questions, or interests? What do they need an immediate answer to? You might use language such as, “I know many of you may be thinking…” The quicker you can address what’s on their minds, the more likely you’ll be able to calm them down.
- Seek out credible sources of information, and read fully before distilling it into clear, concise language.
- You can confidently express doubt or uncertainty, while still maintaining authority. You might say, “Reports are still coming in, but what we understand so far is…”
- Communicate frequently, even if you don’t have news to report, so that people know you are actively following the issue.
- And provide tangible action items. Use language such as, “Here are the steps we are taking,” or “Here’s what you can do,” to demonstrate action.
Reassure Your Team During Uncertainty
This tip is adapted from “How to Reassure Your Team When the News Is Scary,” by Allison Shapira