5 Leadership Skills Needed to Best Manage a Crisis like Coronavirus: How Can Predictive Index help?

By David Lahey  |  

7.2 min read

By: David Lahey

Founder, Predictive Success


ere we are in the mist of one of the largest crisis we have ever seen. It will pass eventually but we all need to be planning for the new world ahead. Your use of predictive data always allows your team to be better prepared.

Managers have a load of responsibilities and they are constantly dealing with different situations, but one thing is certain: every manager will encounter a crisis at some point in their career and they need to be equipped with the skills necessary to handle it.  This can present itself in several ways.  Sometimes their personality can get in the way.

Your leaders are perhaps all high A, low C, proactive and fast paced needing action. With the coronavirus, change is happening, but it is not the type of change your people were or are looking for. It is not business as usual any longer. People are scared. Will I lose my job? Will my family get the virus? How will I do my job well?

Even so, business needs to get done. Perhaps the deadline for the company’s annual report is tomorrow and it is still not complete when the entire office suffers technical difficulties.  Maybe you are preparing for the grand opening of a new branch and all the printed mailings have been sent out only to leave off the address of the new location. It’s possible that the biggest deal of your career is about to close when suddenly the client notices a glitch in the contract and retracts their agreement.  No matter the situation, crises are a part of life and it is important that managers have the following leadership skills to properly deal with the situation.

Fortunately, your leaders have access to the predictive index analysis which greatly assists how each person will react under extreme stress. The stressed employee or leader will gravitate to their highest PI factor and to their lowest PI factor.

This PI data also will predict detail, patience, assertiveness and social slant. The much-forgotten M score where focus can be predicted or ability to absorb stress is great data for understanding people under stress.

Lets also not forget the E score. Is that leader empathetic enough to help her people through this crisis or is she so logical that her people feel she and the company do not care? In the example below, we see a leader who is altruistic. She will want all her people to play nice. This can create challenges as a leader often needs to be more proactive. In the self concept graph, we see that she is trying to be much more assertive and this is forcing her into “analysis paralysis. See the red circle in the graph example below. This is a coaching challenge.

Communication, Here the Predictive Index shines.

This is perhaps the most important skill needed when dealing with crisis management.  Managers need to be able to communicate clearly, concisely, and in a timely manner during times of crisis. They must get into the world of their employee. Here the new PI People Map can assist. It gives the leaders a road map and is excellent for planning how they each will respond to perhaps a layoff.

They need to be able to remain calm and focus on relaying pertinent information as quickly as possible.  Managers are much more likely to experience a better outcome when they can communicate effectively with their employees.


We all love when things go exactly as planned but what happens when the unthinkable happens and our perfect plan turns into a disaster?  Great managers know how to adapt to different situations in the event of a crisis. It will be more difficult for a high D to adapt as he needs all the details to decide. In today’s world, we now do not have all the details for 2 months from now. Leaders must understand how to approach problems from a different perspective, and they are willing to seek advice from other team members.  They know that critical moments require the help of a diverse team. Here the PI data of the team is wonderfully helpful.

Some adaptability is easy, however, a complete flip flop in their PI from their core personality to seeing the need to be 100% the opposite at work is not sustainable. An example of a leader who just couldn’t do it is below.

Self -Control, what is the Predictive index of your leader?

When a crisis hits, there is no time for a manager who is frantic and disorganized.  Without self-control, it is easy for a manager to fall into the grip of panic and be at the mercy of their feelings. A manager who can exhibit strong self-control even during crisis is much more capable of making rational decisions, communicating clearly, and working to effectively solve the problem. The new PI software have now executive maps. This tells you who are the competing leaders vs. supporting leader. And the aligning leader vs. the enterprising leader. Each will have a different level of self control.

Relationship Management

In times of crisis, it is essential for the manager to manage many relationships with many different people. The PI helps her enormously. Leaders who use the PI data have a view into how their messages will be perceived and executed.   They understand how to do this is a friendly yet assertive manner.   They can inspire those around them, give clear directions, and foster teamwork amid a crisis.  Rather than losing patience and barking orders at those around them, a manager who possesses strong relationship management skills knows how to move people in the right direction while maintaining self-control. Returning to the PI data for relationship management is a best practice.


When crisis strikes it is time for managers to think outside the box and move to Plan B.  A manager who is a creative thinker embraces this challenge and utilizes the unique talents of those around him to develop a quick solution.  They can encourage different perspectives and can use their knowledge to devise a creative solution to the problem. Top performing teams do not look alike. They are unique and compliment each other well. Below is an example of a very successful building management company. The team has a high energy very persuasive and face paced leader and groups of leaders under him that bring personalities and drives that allow the company to execute extremely well.

Crises in the workplace can emerge in many different forms and often strike without warning.  Therefore, it takes a manager who is well-composed and can think quickly on their feet to foster teamwork and bring about creative solutions to these problems.

Making Changes… Removing Head Count

In this crisis, there have been over 500,000 people apply for EI in Canada in one month. The need to reduce cost is a certain. Who do we let go? Looking at the Job Assessment (PRO) and then strategically mapping the PI for your employees is helpful is making the final decision on letting the employee go. It is important also to keep in mind the PI of the employee you are needing to let go.

This can save thousands in termination costs and future legal costs for the company. In this example below, the job assessment is not right for both these employees and both were terminated. They just struggled to do the job well over the past few years and should perhaps not have been placed in this role in for beginning. Using the Predictive Index data will greatly assist in your challenges to for headcount adjustments or to shuffle your “deck”.

The leaders ability to leverage the predictive data from the Predictive Index will allow your company to reduce cost and protect the “house” in this current coronavirus world we are living in for the next two or perhaps three quarters. Use it and access your dedicated Predictive Success account manager for support. There is no charge for this.

www.predictivesuccess.com  or our new Talent Optimization www.talentoptimization.org

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