How do we manage our teams when a global, geopolitical crisis weighs heavily on our minds? There are atrocities happening throughout the world nearly every day. Unless something has affected us or someone on our team personally, we don’t normally start our morning staff meeting with a moment of silence. But when a singular event captures our collective global attention, how do we as leaders and managers address it?

My colleague Jon Haber, a fellow Harvard Kennedy School adjunct lecturer and president of Cascade Strategy, recently shared a thought that deeply resonated with me: “As a leader, anytime you communicate, you are speaking through a megaphone. Our words are actions.”

When you are in a position of authority, your words have special weight and you can use them to either foster anxiety or create a supportive culture. But it can be hard to know what to do or what to say. If you’re finding yourself at a loss, start with these three simple steps.

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