Sociologist and researcher Brene Brown maintains that “Leaders must either invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behavior” ( Never is that been more true than in times of crisis.

While it might feel overwhelming to leaders to deal with employee fears and feelings when they too are feeling the strain of uncertainty, there are some simple yet effective steps to follow.  It is essential in times of crisis to get employees talking and feeling as though they’re being listened to. Leaders are not psychologists, but Front Line Leaders in particular are the most trusted source of information when employees need to gets answers and address fears (

The power of language on expectations

In this Candid Conversation, Shona Welsh of Ovation and Kimberly Schaschl, a certified Counseling Therapist, discuss three simple but impactful strategies to help leaders communicate well with employees:

  1. Speaking Last
  2. Waiting for Answers
  3. Humanizing the Conversation

Join Shona and Kimberly as they describe how leaders can apply these strategies immediately to support employees in feeling more resilient as we navigate these dramatic and changing times.

About the contributorS:

In their highly interactive workshops, OVATION speaker trainers have helped countless individuals transform their ability to connect to their audience and deliver authentic and meaningful messages with impact. Now, more than ever, communication with some oomph is an essential skill. At a time when our emotions swing from overwhelmed to irrational, our ability to communicate effectively follows suit and it can be hard to remove the anger, frustration or even fear from our voice, let alone from our message … and that can have all manner of consequences.

Shona Welsh, BA, MCEd, CHRL, CCC is a communication and speaking expert who has won numerous speaking, writing and learning design awards. The author of several books and designer/facilitator of hundreds of international workshops in speaking and communications, she has held international senior executive positions over three decades. She teaches extensively about leadership, communications, and innovation with numerous universities and colleges.

Jan Bailey BA, MAEd is a communication and speaking expert who has designed and delivered hundreds of workshops internationally on public speaking, stage presence, on-camera presentations, and communication. Along with writing and producing a ten-part career development series of books, Jan’s 27-year career has involved extensive on-camera experience as a television host along with being a long-time professor of communications.

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