When mistakes are made, fight the urge to defend and minimize. Spinning and shaping a message to look “positive,” only makes a leader look weak, evasive and less than honest.
Realize that no matter how hard your organization works, mistakes will be made. Most people understand this. You won’t get points for it, but you won’t be vilified if you communicate in a straight up fashion: “We screwed up. This never should have happened. We’ve got to get this right. The stakes are too high. We apologize to the American people.”
Final advice: “Go with your gut when communicating under pressure.
Ask yourself, “If I were on the other end of this message, would it seem credible to me? Would I believe the person saying it?”
If your answer is no, you can be confident your communication strategy is on a very dangerous path.”
Steve Adubato speaks and coaches on leadership and communication. He is the author of the book, “What Were They thinking? Crisis Communication: The Good, the Bad and the Totally Clueless.”