Crisis Leadership Competency

CRISIS LEADERSHIP COMPETENCY MODEL

This model lays out the nine competencies that were determined to be the most critical for leaders in a Crisis response situation.

Source: CDC

1. COMMUNICATION

Competency Statement:
Communicates during times of crisis in a timely, clear, accurate, and truthful manner.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Communicates effectively and concisely with internal and external audiences in the face of limited, unknown, stressful, and negative situations.
  • Expresses the crisis situation, mission, expectations for response team members and decisions in clear and compelling terms appropriate for the target audience
  • Initiates communication using vertical and horizontal channels of communication to keep leadership, peers and subordinates informed.

2. CONNECTIVITY

Competency Statement:
Activates a network of partners that spans organizational domains and multi-jurisdictional agencies, and meets the immediate (and changing) needs of the response.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Interacts effectively with officials, leadership, subordinates and peers from different agencies and organizations to engage in cross-functional activities, share information, and facilitate collaboration across organizational domains.
  • Uses influence and diplomacy skills to reach a goal, to build consensus, or to resolve a conflict.
  • Links knowledge of networks to successfully accomplish mission objectives.

3. COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE

Competency Statement:
Displays strength, confidence and persistence when faced with danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Takes appropriate risks and accepts responsibility for the outcome.
  • Addresses resistance quickly, rationally, and fairly with due consideration.
  • Perseveres under difficult circumstances.
  • Displays steadfast adherence to public health priorities despite hardship or obstruction.

4. CREDIBILITY

Competency Statement:
Demonstrates expertise and trustworthiness in the midst of crisis; earns the confidence and respect of senior leaders, peers and subordinates.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Demonstrates knowledge and experience in their area of expertise.
  • Exhibits humility; recognizes personal strengths and weaknesses; looks to others for guidance on topics outside of personal expertise; admits to mistakes and takes corrective action.
  • Discerns the appropriate information to share, and when to engage others in conversations, decisions and actions.
  • Acts in accordance with public health ethics, public health law, and organizational values for the common good of those responding to and impacted by the crisis.

5. DECISIVENESS

Competency Statement:
Makes critical, timely decisions when faced with ambiguous information about the disaster and response efforts.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Gathers facts, solicits input, makes reasonable and appropriate assumptions, consults with critical stakeholders, and weighs the benefits and risks in order to make and execute decisions quickly with incomplete or limited information.
  • Makes decisions rapidly; based on prior experience, intuition, and knowledge of established protocols.
  • Applies appropriate decision making processes – systematic problem solving verses experience / intuitively derived — based on the conditions and context of the emergency response situation.
  • Perceives and anticipates the impact and implications of decisions.
  • Assesses and adjusts decisions and actions in response to changing information.

6. EMOTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS

Competency Statement:
Recognizes the impact crisis has on one’s self and others, and promotes positive interactions under emergency response conditions.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Demonstrates self-awareness and responds constructively to problems and difficult interactions.
  • Recognizes survival instincts and signs of stress, demonstrates mental discipline, and maintains control.
  • Considers and responds to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of team members, stakeholders and individuals impacted by the crisis.
  • Promotes an environment of safety, connectedness, and hope.

7. INTEGRATIVE THINKING

Competency Statement:
Identifies what is critically important during an emergency and uses the information to strategically lead, balance priorities, and anticipate consequences.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Synthesizes information into a coherent plan with a clear, yet flexible, strategy and priorities demonstrated through operations, tactics, and logistics.
  • Re-adjusts objectives based on changing priorities to align capacity and create desired results.
  • Proactively assesses and addresses both day-to-day and long term problems and opportunities.
  • Anticipates probable and possible events; develops innovative and adaptive solutions to current and potential crisis situations.

8. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

Competency Statement:
Identifies, processes, and comprehends the critical elements of an emergency with public health consequences.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Compiles a plausible picture of the situation that is compatible with the known facts and potential outcomes.
  • Acquires, represents, interprets, and utilizes relevant information in order to make sense of current events, to anticipate future developments, and to make intelligent decisions.
  • Demonstrates awareness of environment and activities; stays abreast of the mission status; continually assesses and reassesses the situation.

9. TEAM LEADERSHIP

Competency Statement:
Leads, inspires, motivates, and guides emergency response team members in a safe and effective manner.

KEY BEHAVIORS:

  • Models actions and behaviors that inspire and motivate positive responses from team members during a crisis.
  • Takes initiative to identify key cross-functional team personnel needed; obtains required resources and information so team members may effectively respond to the crisis.
  • Recognizes, acknowledges and addresses the impact of stress on their team during a crisis and makes themselves available and visible to the team when responding to the event.
  • Delegates roles, responsibilities, and decisions appropriately; shares responsibility, accountability and recognition; gives guidance, and promotes autonomy for others to make decisions within guidelines during the crisis.
  • Manages and resolves disputes and disagreements among team members in a positive and constructive manner.
  • Demonstrates flexibility when confronted with deviations from standard procedures; monitors changes in the performance of other team members.
  • Develops, communicates, and monitors expectations for team performance.

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