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危机期间的沟通之道:杜绝演戏

危机期间的沟通之道:杜绝演戏

Hannah Storm 2021年04月26日
对大多数领导者而言,新冠肺炎疫情可谓是危机管理和沟通领域的速成课。

今年是重新定义的一年,重新定义了带领团队度过危机、应对前所未有的局面、在不确定性中进行沟通的含义。对大多数领导者而言,新冠肺炎疫情可谓是危机管理和沟通领域的速成课。

这更加突显出,企业十分有必要建立相应的体系和框架,为动荡时期提供标杆。同时也突显出提前为艰难时期制定计划十分重要,而针对潜在危机做好演练,则可以帮助个人和机构更好地应对动荡。

“危机”一词来源于希腊语“krisis”,也就是decision(决定),意为“危险和困难的时刻,或必须作出决定的时刻。”的确,危机会给人们带来压力,但未来的决策能够提前打好基础。

“在充满挑战的时代,有一种想法认为人们可以直面挑战,英勇地完成任务,但这往往并不现实。”位于加州蒙特雷的一名职业发展教练和高管领导力战略顾问塔米·桑德斯说,“应对危机时,对人的要求非常高。”

她建议,领导者要反思在面对危机时带入了多少个人情绪。她说:“做到这一点的领导者能够有效应对危机,如若不然,只会给问题平添不确定性。”

如果个人应该训练自己更好地适应逆境,公司也同样应该如此。

“提前练习是减少面对压力时发生行为变化的唯一方法。”Security Exchange 24公司的常务董事鲁珀特·里德解释说,该公司是一家专业的安全公司,帮助企业预防、管理、应对重大安全事件。

而桌面推演则有助于明确谁应该加入公司的危机管理团队(通常称为CMT)。里德建议,在危机中受到影响的每一个关键领域——人、财产、产品、合作伙伴和媒体(people, property, product, partnerships, and press,也被称为“5P”)——都派出一名代表,再配上主席和记录员。

里德还指出,季度董事会会议应该在结尾增加半小时,用于评估经营风险,讨论哪些计划需要调整。他建议每年进行一次桌面演练,把过去12个月的员工变化考虑在内。

桑德斯表示,在不确定时期,决策框架可以让人们的焦点更集中。她提倡使用权责分配矩阵(RACI)来确定谁负责、谁批准、咨询谁、通知谁。

“在危机中,人们容易产生两种想法:我要对所有事情负责;所有事情都不该由我负责。我认为RACI给人们提供了一个标识符:这是你要做的。这样每个人都明白了自己的角色,知道自己能够做什么贡献,以及应该贡献到什么程度。”她说

在里德的5P流程中,最后一个P指的是媒体,这充分说明了沟通应该是所有危机管理计划的核心。

“从一开始,你就要考虑对内对外需要和谁沟通,要确保信息一致、没有混杂的信息。”里德说,并表示需要沟通的利益相关方不总是显而易见的。

牛津大学路透研究所(Reuters Institute at Oxford University)的访问研究员、数字转型专家露西·库恩表示,有效的沟通系统对减轻危机影响具有关键作用。

“组织内部需要有非常好的结缔组织,这样你才可以沟通这些信息,对领导层也需要有很大的信任。”这些东西你不可能等危机发生后才去构建。”她解释道。

她说,对习惯自上而下传递信息的层级组织来说,这点往往更具挑战性。在她推崇的系统中,关键信息能够向上流动,也可以向下流动。

然而,不管做了多少计划,一些危机还是会发生。幸运的是,公司能够采取一些实用的措施。这些措施可以被广泛地划分为:需要什么信息,信息应该如何共享、与谁共享,个人和机构的反应应该如何支撑我们的沟通。

圣地亚哥·里昂是美联社(Associated Press)的前副总裁。在他主管美联社全球摄影部期间,处理过很多危机,包括同事的死亡、受伤和被绑架,而且往往发生在充满敌意的环境中。

他说:“高质量的信息至关重要,要获得高质量的信息,你需要有能够沟通的人,这个人需要具备正确的素质,他们要专注、冷静、严肃,并且明白你需要什么。”这可能是废话,但你可以得到什么答案,取决于你问了什么问题。所以提出正确的问题,确定你需要知道什么(至关重要)。”

今年的疫情让人们加倍认识到确定性是多么难以实现,这进一步加大了危机沟通的难度。

但即使在这种不确定性中,对Nzerem Limited公司的记者、媒体培训师克米·恩泽莱姆来说,他给客户提供的是一个简单的缩写“CARE”:关心/同情、行动、安心和同理心。

“你必须把受到最大影响的人置于第一位,因为所有人都会同情这些人。不能是表演性质的。如果你想让人们觉得你在关心他们,那就真正去关心他们。”他解释道,“不管你参与不参与,都是要讨论的。不要等到你掌握了所有信息再去沟通——站出来,去沟通。最开始,你可能想要发布一个支持声明。然后,确定一个发言人,一个足够资深、能够被人们重视的人,充当你们公司的门面。”

里昂提醒领导者,在沟通时,往往要考虑到家人的问题。他还提醒企业,对于企业需要得到照顾的人,应该掌握所有人的家属信息。

桑德斯称,领导者不可以低估听众。她说,这样做可能会冒犯他们,很快就会影响你在公司内外的声誉。面对不确定性,她建议“实事求是:说你什么能够做、什么不可以做。”

“我们不能够给不确定的情况带来确定,但我们可以为员工提供一种无论发生什么都能够保持稳定的东西,我认为这应该是可以在团队内部和组织外都引起共鸣的东西。”桑德斯说,“这个时候就需要一个组织的价值观发挥真正的作用了。如果你们真正践行了组织的价值观,那么无论发生什么,它们都应该是你能够牢牢抓住的东西。”

这又回到了恩泽莱姆的观点,即危机沟通不可以是表演性质的。

关于怎么在困难时期进行沟通,今年给我们好好上了一课。它提醒我们,不可能总是表现出百分之百的确定,但表现真实至关重要。

今后几年,新冠肺炎疫情可能会提供宝贵的经验教训,教会领导者怎么应对动荡。但是现在,库恩总结说:“在因为疫情而出现的数字化转型中,领导者面临的挑战是:这是在实时进展的,所以没有公认的最佳实践。你所能够做的就是干好工作,认真思考,尽可能地做出预测,然后告诉大家。”(yabo88ios)

译者:Agatha

今年是重新定义的一年,重新定义了带领团队度过危机、应对前所未有的局面、在不确定性中进行沟通的含义。对大多数领导者而言,新冠肺炎疫情可谓是危机管理和沟通领域的速成课。

这更加突显出,企业十分有必要建立相应的体系和框架,为动荡时期提供标杆。同时也突显出提前为艰难时期制定计划十分重要,而针对潜在危机做好演练,则可以帮助个人和机构更好地应对动荡。

“危机”一词来源于希腊语“krisis”,也就是decision(决定),意为“危险和困难的时刻,或必须作出决定的时刻。”的确,危机会给人们带来压力,但未来的决策能够提前打好基础。

“在充满挑战的时代,有一种想法认为人们可以直面挑战,英勇地完成任务,但这往往并不现实。”位于加州蒙特雷的一名职业发展教练和高管领导力战略顾问塔米·桑德斯说,“应对危机时,对人的要求非常高。”

她建议,领导者要反思在面对危机时带入了多少个人情绪。她说:“做到这一点的领导者能够有效应对危机,如若不然,只会给问题平添不确定性。”

如果个人应该训练自己更好地适应逆境,公司也同样应该如此。

“提前练习是减少面对压力时发生行为变化的唯一方法。”Security Exchange 24公司的常务董事鲁珀特·里德解释说,该公司是一家专业的安全公司,帮助企业预防、管理、应对重大安全事件。

而桌面推演则有助于明确谁应该加入公司的危机管理团队(通常称为CMT)。里德建议,在危机中受到影响的每一个关键领域——人、财产、产品、合作伙伴和媒体(people, property, product, partnerships, and press,也被称为“5P”)——都派出一名代表,再配上主席和记录员。

里德还指出,季度董事会会议应该在结尾增加半小时,用于评估经营风险,讨论哪些计划需要调整。他建议每年进行一次桌面演练,把过去12个月的员工变化考虑在内。

桑德斯表示,在不确定时期,决策框架可以让人们的焦点更集中。她提倡使用权责分配矩阵(RACI)来确定谁负责、谁批准、咨询谁、通知谁。

“在危机中,人们容易产生两种想法:我要对所有事情负责;所有事情都不该由我负责。我认为RACI给人们提供了一个标识符:这是你要做的。这样每个人都明白了自己的角色,知道自己能够做什么贡献,以及应该贡献到什么程度。”她说

在里德的5P流程中,最后一个P指的是媒体,这充分说明了沟通应该是所有危机管理计划的核心。

“从一开始,你就要考虑对内对外需要和谁沟通,要确保信息一致、没有混杂的信息。”里德说,并表示需要沟通的利益相关方不总是显而易见的。

牛津大学路透研究所(Reuters Institute at Oxford University)的访问研究员、数字转型专家露西·库恩表示,有效的沟通系统对减轻危机影响具有关键作用。

“组织内部需要有非常好的结缔组织,这样你才可以沟通这些信息,对领导层也需要有很大的信任。”这些东西你不可能等危机发生后才去构建。”她解释道。

她说,对习惯自上而下传递信息的层级组织来说,这点往往更具挑战性。在她推崇的系统中,关键信息能够向上流动,也可以向下流动。

然而,不管做了多少计划,一些危机还是会发生。幸运的是,公司能够采取一些实用的措施。这些措施可以被广泛地划分为:需要什么信息,信息应该如何共享、与谁共享,个人和机构的反应应该如何支撑我们的沟通。

圣地亚哥·里昂是美联社(Associated Press)的前副总裁。在他主管美联社全球摄影部期间,处理过很多危机,包括同事的死亡、受伤和被绑架,而且往往发生在充满敌意的环境中。

他说:“高质量的信息至关重要,要获得高质量的信息,你需要有能够沟通的人,这个人需要具备正确的素质,他们要专注、冷静、严肃,并且明白你需要什么。”这可能是废话,但你可以得到什么答案,取决于你问了什么问题。所以提出正确的问题,确定你需要知道什么(至关重要)。”

今年的疫情让人们加倍认识到确定性是多么难以实现,这进一步加大了危机沟通的难度。

但即使在这种不确定性中,对Nzerem Limited公司的记者、媒体培训师克米·恩泽莱姆来说,他给客户提供的是一个简单的缩写“CARE”:关心/同情、行动、安心和同理心。

“你必须把受到最大影响的人置于第一位,因为所有人都会同情这些人。不能是表演性质的。如果你想让人们觉得你在关心他们,那就真正去关心他们。”他解释道,“不管你参与不参与,都是要讨论的。不要等到你掌握了所有信息再去沟通——站出来,去沟通。最开始,你可能想要发布一个支持声明。然后,确定一个发言人,一个足够资深、能够被人们重视的人,充当你们公司的门面。”

里昂提醒领导者,在沟通时,往往要考虑到家人的问题。他还提醒企业,对于企业需要得到照顾的人,应该掌握所有人的家属信息。

桑德斯称,领导者不可以低估听众。她说,这样做可能会冒犯他们,很快就会影响你在公司内外的声誉。面对不确定性,她建议“实事求是:说你什么能够做、什么不可以做。”

“我们不能够给不确定的情况带来确定,但我们可以为员工提供一种无论发生什么都能够保持稳定的东西,我认为这应该是可以在团队内部和组织外都引起共鸣的东西。”桑德斯说,“这个时候就需要一个组织的价值观发挥真正的作用了。如果你们真正践行了组织的价值观,那么无论发生什么,它们都应该是你能够牢牢抓住的东西。”

这又回到了恩泽莱姆的观点,即危机沟通不可以是表演性质的。

关于怎么在困难时期进行沟通,今年给我们好好上了一课。它提醒我们,不可能总是表现出百分之百的确定,但表现真实至关重要。

今后几年,新冠肺炎疫情可能会提供宝贵的经验教训,教会领导者怎么应对动荡。但是现在,库恩总结说:“在因为疫情而出现的数字化转型中,领导者面临的挑战是:这是在实时进展的,所以没有公认的最佳实践。你所能够做的就是干好工作,认真思考,尽可能地做出预测,然后告诉大家。”(yabo88ios)

译者:Agatha

This year has redefined what it means to lead through a crisis, to navigate unprecedented times, and to communicate in spite of uncertainty. For many leaders, the global pandemic has meant a crash course in crisis management and communications.

It has thrown into sharp relief the need for companies to establish systems and frameworks to provide a touchstone in the turbulence. It has underscored the importance of planning for difficult times and how practicing responses to potential crises can help individuals and institutions better navigate turmoil.

The word crisis comes from the Greek krisis or decision, denoting "a time of danger and difficulty, or a time when a decision must be made." So it rings true that a crisis puts people under pressure, but also that foundations can be laid for future decisions.

"In challenging times, there's this idea of people rising to the occasion and delivering heroically, but that's not often reality," says Tammy Sanders, a professional development coach and strategic adviser for executive leadership based in Monterey, Calif. "Responding to a crisis is about tapping into a moment that demands a lot of you."

She advises leaders check in with themselves to understand the degree to which they are bringing their own emotions to a situation. "Doing this can mean the difference between a leader who is effective in crisis and a leader who contributes to the uncertainty of crisis," she says.

If individuals should train themselves to better adapt to adversity, so too should companies.

"Practicing in advance is the only way of mitigating behavioral changes that happen under pressure," explains Rupert Reid, the managing director of Security Exchange 24, a specialist security company that helps businesses prevent, manage, and recover from critical security incidents.

Desktop exercises can help identify who should join a company’s crisis management team, often called the CMT. Reid suggests a representative for each of the key areas impacted in a crisis—or the “5Ps”: people, property, product, partnerships, and press—along with a chair and record keeper.

Reid advises adding a half-hour to the end of quarterly board meetings to review operating risks and to consider where plans need to be adapted. He suggests an annual desktop exercise, taking into account any changes in staff in the preceding 12 months.

Sanders says a decision-making framework brings focus in uncertain times. She advocates the RACI formula to identify who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed.

"In a crisis, there are two broad spectrum responses: I’m responsible for everything or I can’t be responsible for any of this. I think RACI gives people the identifier: This is what you do. So everyone understands their role and how they can contribute and the degree to which they should be contributing," she says.

The final P of Reid’s 5-P process refers to press, highlighting the need for communications to be central to all crisis management planning.

"From the start, you need to be thinking about who you need to communicate with, internally and externally, consistency of message, and ensuring no mixed messages," says Reid, noting that stakeholders in communications terms are not always obvious.

Effective communications systems are central to mitigating the impact of a crisis, says Lucy Kueng, a digital transformation expert and visiting research fellow at the Reuters Institute at Oxford University.

"You need to have really good connective tissue inside your organization so you can communicate these messages, and there needs to be a lot of trust in the leadership. These things you can’t fit retrospectively after the crisis has occurred," she explains.

She says this tends to be more challenging for hierarchical organizations used to top-down messaging, and she advocates the value of systems in which critical information can flow up as well as down.

No matter how much planning takes place, some crises still occur. Fortunately, there are practical steps companies can take. These can be broadly separated into understanding what information is needed, how it should be shared and with whom, and how our responses as individuals and institutions underpin our communications.

Santiago Lyon is a former vice president at the Associated Press. During his time overseeing the news agency’s global photo department, he dealt with crises including the death, injury, and kidnapping of colleagues, often in hostile environments.

"Quality information is critical, and getting the quality information requires somebody you can speak to on the ground of the right makeup in the sense that they are focused, calm, serious, and understand what it was that you needed," he says. "It may be a truism, but you get the answers to the questions you ask. So asking the right questions, trying to ascertain what it is you need to know, [is crucial]."

This pandemic year has underscored just how elusive certainty can be, which adds an even more challenging dimension to crisis communications.

But even with that uncertainty, for journalist and media trainer Keme Nzerem of Nzerem Limited, there’s a simple acronym he offers his clients, which is CARE: care/compassion, action, reassurance, and empathy.

"You have to put the people who are most affected at the front of everything because it’s these people everyone will sympathize with. It’s not performative. If you want to look like you care, then care," he explains. "The discussion is going to happen anyway, with or without you. Do not wait until you have all the information—get out there and communicate. In the first instance you might want to put out a holding statement. And then, give your organization a human face by providing a spokesperson, someone senior enough to be taken seriously."

Lyon reminds leaders there are often families to consider in communications, and he reminds companies of the importance of ensuring they have the next of kin details of all those to whom they have a duty of care.

Sanders advises leaders to ensure you don’t underestimate your audience. She says doing so risks insulting them, which can quickly impact your reputation internally and externally. Faced with uncertainty, she advocates for "confirming reality: Say what you can and say what you can’t do."

"We can’t bring certainty to uncertain situations, but we can find the one thing that we can offer folks that will stay steady no matter what happens, and I think that’s something that resonates both within teams and beyond the organization as well," Sanders notes. "This is where an organization’s values really kick in. If you’re really practicing these values, they should be the things you can hold on to, no matter what happens."

It’s back to Nzerem’s idea that crisis communications cannot be performative.

This year has offered many lessons in how to communicate in difficult times. It has reminded us it’s not always possible to project complete certainty, but it is important to project authenticity.

In years to come, COVID-19 is likely to provide a valuable lesson to business leaders on how to navigate turmoil, but for now, as Kueng concludes, "The challenge for leaders pushing through digital transformation responding to COVID is we are in a situation of real-time event development so there is no acknowledged best practice. All you can do is do the work, do the thinking, make the best guess you can, and inform people of that."

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