Employing EQ To Emerge Through A Crisis

The following article has been authored by Mr Rajeev Shroff, Executive Business Coach, Fractional CEO, Transformation Consultant Board Member at Cupela Consulting.


Any crisis brings with it an atmosphere of hostility and ambiguity. Whether it is an internal or external crisis, it threatens the stability of the organization. Although, crisis protocols and programs are usually in place, the uncertainty attached to a crisis can create unrest significant enough to shake the very foundation of corporations. During this critical period, it is necessary to have a high emotional quotient (EQ) to deal with the volatile situation in an appropriate manner and to bounce back from it without any damage.

As you work towards finding rational solutions, it is essential to understand the emotional aspect of the crisis as well. When an organization is facing a situation like this, the employees look closely at the leaders for reactions and guidance. Considering the fact that their reactions will largely be modelled after yours, leaders have to demonstrate a high emotional quotient and encourage employees to do so as well. 

Empower the HR department

As the department closest and most equipped in the organization to connect with the employees, HR personnel must step up and leverage their people skills by engaging in constant communication with the employees. To evoke the EQ of the employees, this team can organize town halls, seminars, or workshops to facilitate conversations and bring about unity in the organization. 

This is the time when a company’s  policies designed to create a work-life balance become extremely important. The crisis may lead to additional work, stress or general anxiousness amongst employees. Encourage them to use their time off, provide flexibility, and promote better physical and mental health during this time. 

Keep the stress at bay 

High EQ can play an important role while dealing with stress. As essential as it is to resolve a crisis, it is also crucial to ensure that leaders and employees do so without impacting their physical or mental wellbeing. To help everyone during this tumultuous time, keep help at hand. Employ the services of a professional counsellor who can be a source of guidance for everyone. Having the option of seeking help confidentially during such a situation will help employees immensely. 

At the same time, encourage managers and leaders of the organisation to have an open door policy. It is extremely important to keep channels of communication open and be approachable during this time. The stress of an unsure situation can be alleviated through honest conversations and free communication.   

Have a tight squad 

A crisis situation is when you call on team unity. Just as there are crisis management plans in place, it is important that your employees are also trained to work together as teams in a high pressure environment. As preventive measure, invest time and effort in these interventions before a crisis can take place. Through these initiatives, make sure the employees interact with each other and build strong bonds. 

This will build the team’s EQ. It will not only ensure that they help each other in time of crisis but it will also reduce the probability that they will jump ship if the organization is going through some problems. An emotionally intelligent workforce is a stronger workforce with a higher amount of resilience.

Keep providing clarity 

Constantly communicate with the employees. Keep providing them clarity and updates about the crisis. Be available for any questions that they may have. Encourage them to speak up and talk to their leaders, managers or HR personnel if they need support. Invest time in building a rapport with the employees before a crisis happens and use this bond to get through difficult times. A healthy relationship with employees will always build company loyalty and increase their affinity towards their jobs. 

No manager, CEO, or a leader can sail safely through a crisis all by yourself. Just as the employees require the guidance of their leaders during this time, the company and leaders require their support to emerge through a crisis. Employees are your strongest advocates and allies in moments of distress. It best to understand this and treat them accordingly. It is, therefore, pertinent for organizations and leaders to invest time, effort and resources to build a team with a heightened EQ, so that everyone can tackle any situation together effectively. 

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