Peter Steinke offered a useful perspective on leadership in a crisis on today’s teleconference. He mentioned several things that he does in his consulting work with congregations that can be useful for leaders:
1. Always use “I” statements: “I believe,” “I feel,” “I think.” This helps you stay in control. He said, “The minute you begin saying ‘you,’ you are out of control.”
2. When there is a meeting to discuss a hot issue, always have guidelines: how long, how people will speak (for example, not using “you” statements), and how long they will speak. “Structure corrals anxiety,” he said.
3. Have a clear contract about what your role and responsibility is. “People when they get anxious will try to tell you what your role is going to be.”
Steinke also talked about the importance of developing better self-regulation. He suggested, “when you want to shoot right away, pull back a little.” He also recommended asking a lot of questions for clarity: “Let me make sure I understand…”
The recording of the teleconference is available. E-mail me at Margaret@margaretmarcuson.com, and I’ll send you the link.