The coronavirus and its global spread has left companies around the world scrambling to keep employees safe, reduce anxiety and maintain stability of their operations. In times of crisis, however, leaders can do a lot to reduce employee concerns.

One of the biggest tools a manager can use to diffuse the tension: clear, candid communication.

“It’s almost impossible to over-communicate during a crisis,” notes Suzi McAlpine in a recent posting at her blog “The Art of Leadership.”

McAlpine writes that leaders must talk and listen with equal measure as a way of conveying information and calming raw nerves.

A crisis is an opportunity for leaders to inspire, as well, and offer a “compelling vision” for how to move forward, according to the blog posting. As part of that vision, McAlpine recommends metaphors.

“Metaphors can be your friend here,” she says. “Is what you’re facing like navigating stormy seas, or like facing a mythical creature from Greek mythology? Is it like some other thing from Nature? Storytelling and metaphors help people make sense, which in turn helps to lower their anxiety and fear.”

The full posting – “7 Tips for Leading Through Troubled Times” – can be accessed at this link.