Today Monday, the Electoral College will meet virtually and elect the new president of the USA. A lot has been written about how divided and polarized the USA is as a country today. Assuming he will be elected, Joe Biden will indeed face a big challenge in trying to bring the country together. Edward Segal, an expert in crisis management, recently wrote in a piece published by Forbes that Biden can draw on some best practices from the business world. And vice versa. According to Segal, a business or political leader should do the following to build consensus and navigate through difficult times:
- Listen to what all sides have to say
- Find and create common ground
- Set clear priorities on what needs to be done
- Demonstrate empathy
- Tell the truth
- Not cast blame
- Follow the advice of experts
- Take swift and decisive action
I would like to add that a leader should not be too focused on talking at the beginning. He or she should first make sure all parties know and believe that he or she is listening. Then, I would advise to bring out the bad news all together. Subsequently, spread out the good news in bits and pieces over a longer period of time.
You can read the full article by Segal on Forbes including my quote here.