Maintaining Trust in Times of Crisis

18th March 2020

The human race is facing an acute crisis today – not simply due to COVID 19, but more because we cannot any longer trust each other. In order to fight the disease, one needs to trust experts in their respective fields – leadership & governance, health & medicine, science, technology, in common citizenship and countries too! Similarly to tackle any emergency one needs to trust the authority in concern.

In order to address the present scenario that has impacted the entire world – lockdowns, closures, partial travel bans and so on, what role do education leadership play in allaying some of these unfounded fears and take a bold step to fight the situation that restores faith in the management?

To begin with, trust building is an important aspect of leadership. In times of crisis, students and staff alike know that they can rely and turn to their leader for any kind of guidance – they can believe that whatever their leader decides to do under these adverse circumstances is in their best interest. Leaders thus, need to learn how to build implicit faith in those in their care.

Preparedness and sensitive action that benefits all should be the aim of all those who hold education management positions. In order for this to happen, training in education management and leadership is very important.

Even before an adverse and unexpected event strike, authorities have to be prepared for crisis and calamities, so that at the time when action is needed and decisions to be made, there is minimal time lapse in planning for action!

The first priority as a leader is to have a concrete plan of action, in different crisis situations. Few things to be considered as critical:

  • ensure complete safety and security of the students and staff
  • consider interest of all concerned in the larger picture
  • identify potential hazards
  • plan to protect the school from hazards
  • mitigate the effects through planning and effective response
  • involve the parent body as well, in decision making

Compassionate leadership helps in building faith amongst the ‘led’ thus optimizing opportunities that foster learning for the future.

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