Filed under: Crisis Communications
When General Motors named Mary Barra its first female CEO three months ago, who knew the biggest hurdle she would likely face would be trying to undo the damage done by her predecessors? For all of her business acumen, it may simply be her likability and sense of trustworthiness that determines whether she survives.
Forbes, among many others, gives her credit for navigating the crisis with aplomb:
… Ms. Barra struck exactly the right tone: calm, in control, honestly sympathetic, yet not going to be pushed into a statement she did not want to make. She was unfailingly polite, and seemed dedicated to finding out the truth, and then to addressing it head-on. She did not grandstand nor was she flustered; she did not defer nor did she deflect the criticism, but she did stand up to her questioners when they were not clear, in a way that was neither angry, nor defensive, nor subservient.
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