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Thought Leadership

Communicating In Crisis: How To Build Trust In An Untrustworthy World

Leadership, "Reputation Matters," Forbes, March 4, 2020

3-16-20 Forbes Communicating In Crisis

As we enter the first full week of the global pandemic and crashing financial markets, we are all looking for who to listen to, and who to believe.

We're looking for a trusted voice in the storm to help guide us, one that can steer us toward the truth as it unfolds, and away from lies and misstatements, be they well-meaning or malicious. This is the leaders's task — to provide that "True North" to employees, community, customers, investors, and stakeholders.

But this is an almost impossible task in such a topsy-turvy landscape, where it can be impossible to distinguish sky from ground.

Sequestered — quarantined by choice or fiat, or simply avoiding exposure by working from home — our choices for who to listen to have changed. No more can we comfortably sit across from our boss in a group meeting and use all of our senses to tell whether he or she is telling us the whole truth. Working remotely, half of the sensors we are used to using are missing.

And while we're incredibly lucky to have video and teleconferences, podcasts and webinars, live streaming, virtual chat rooms, and virtual galas, salons, board meetings and policy meetings — still that personal touch is missing, and with it many of the clues we use to determine integrity and truthfulness.

So who do we trust? And how can leaders establish trust? [...read more]

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