Leadership Communication Emotional intelligence

Leading through crisis: communication strategies for leaders

Watch the full recorded broadcast above.

During times of crisis, leaders are forced to act and process information much faster than they’re used to. Crises demand that leaders communicate early and often as new information presents itself. At the same time, leaders are expected to impart a sense of calm and level-headedness. It’s not easy.

On March 26, 2020, The Ivey Academy delivered a free webinar to share knowledge and expertise relating to leadership in times of crisis. Hosted by The Ivey Academy’s Kanina Blanchard, an expert in communication and change management, “Leading Through Crisis: Communication Strategies for Leaders” offered perspectives and guidance for leaders who want to help their organizations be better in times of crisis.

Key webinar content

Core topics

  • Purpose, vulnerability, and character
  • Tailoring communications to different stakeholders
  • Paralinguistics: tone, pitch, body language
  • The importance of self-reflection
  • Leading large groups of employees remotely
  • Best practices and tips for communicating using technology
  • How to bring your best self forward
  • Transitioning from a “sprint” to a “marathon” and recalibrating expectations
  • Finding personal purpose during a crisis

Memorable quote

"Show some vulnerability and ... make it okay for peoplle to (slow down) and run the marathon instead of the sprint. Telling them won't work. You yourself have to lead by example." - Kanina Blanchard

Additional reading

Session materials

The session included a "word-cloud" exercise to measure and visualize the group’s feelings on COVID-19 in real-time. These were the results:

Leading Through Crisis Word Cloud


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About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment. 

Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network. Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.