The helpful similarities between effective crisis management and coaching

As we all settle in for the long-haul, organisations and their leaders are battling to set strategy despite uncertainty and communicate with compassion and empathy despite taking business critical decisions that will inevitably impact people’s lives. This new normal feels like long-term crisis management.

As coaches, whether we are working with leaders in organisations very close to the epicentre of international efforts to battle the virus, or with those in businesses further removed that are simply trying to navigate their way through it, there are several aspects of effective crisis management that we can use to support our coaching practice.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a ‘born crisis leader’, nor do I think there is a ‘born crisis coach’. We need to use the same skills and competencies, just under greater pressure, for a longer time and with a higher degree of self-awareness. The self-awareness is particularly important as, unusually, we are living through the same events as our clients and therefore need to be careful to ensure we don’t become entangled. However, assuming we can do that, then we already have the coaching skills we need and that are so valuable to leaders and their teams as they steer their organisations through unprecedented times.

To help us do that, I think there are three useful similarities between effective crisis management and coaching, both of which require:

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