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Alert! How to lead effectively during an emergency situation

Many agree that true leaders emerge in emergency situations. There is no greater test of leadership ability than being put in a difficult - or even life-threatening - scenario. One common method for handling certain emergencies is to perform CPR. For the purpose of this article - to lead effectively during a time of crisis - here are three valuable pieces of advice that form the acronym CPR:

COMMUNICATE clearly and honestly
One of the worst mistakes you can make during an emergency situation is failing to communicate. Your team deserves to know what is happening, clearly and honestly. While being the bearer of bad news is never easy, too much positivity can make the problem worse by creating false expectations or hopes. In a crisis, your team will be looking to you for guidance and support, so don't let them down due to a lack of communication.

PREPARE and practice beforehand
A quality leader is ready for whatever situation life throws his or her way. Another way to ensure you lead effectively during a crisis is to prepare and practice a plan before any emergency occurs. First, create an emergency bag containing critical contact numbers, necessary forms, and a first-aid kit. Next, assign various emergency response roles to each of your employees. Lastly, hold annual drills or sessions where you practice what your team would do in certain crisis scenarios.

REMAIN calm and don't panic
What makes you a leader is your ability to lead and remain calm - even in the face of an emergency. If you are panicking, you team will follow suit. Maintain a calm composure to take control of a chaotic situation and not let it spiral out of control. As a leader, you must step up to the challenge.

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