DIMON IN THE ROUGH – BUT NOT FOR LONGBy Merna Skinner (Words at Work) - Comments Off on DIMON IN THE ROUGH – BUT NOT FOR LONG
CEO JAMIE DIMON DEMONSTRATES HOW TO COMMUNICATE WHEN YOU’RE IN THE WEEDS OF A CRISIS
Golf pros will tell you that when you find yourself in a rough, only an amateur will go for the “heroic shot” to try to reach the hole with one swing from the weeds. An experienced golfer knows that what is needed is a “recovery shot” – to just get the ball on the green – and back in play.
That’s what JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon did in his recent appearance before Congress – he put the ball back in play and in the process demonstrated the fundamentals of how to manage crisis communication:
#1. Acknowledge the crisis. Though in early April Dimon initially called the trading problem a “tempest in a teapot,” once he knew the true severity of the problem – two billion dollars lost – he admitted it. You can’t say you’re on the fairway when you’re in the weeds!
#2. Own your mistakes and show empathy for those impacted:
Dimon used collective pronouns and apologetic language when he said, “We have let a lot of people down and we are very sorry for that.” “We feel terrible,” and “I was wrong,” Dimon spoke with sincerity and vocal concern – he didn’t mumble or hedge.
#3. Put the mistakes into context: If you don’t frame the issue, others will and often with vitriol. Dimon explained, “We will not make light of these losses, but they should be put into perspective.” He went on to frame that perspective: “…no client, customer or taxpayer money was impacted by this incident.”
#4. Quickly look to the future and keep the dialog going: Let your public know that you’re proactively working to resolve and not repeat the problem; and keep the information feeder line to the media open.
Immediately after facing Congress, Dimon headed to CNBC where he sat for an extensive interview with Mary Thompson. During the discussion, Dimon said, “We are going to wrestle this down, admit our sins and get on with our business.”
When probed about who would be fired and who would stay, he said they were conducting “an extensive review of this incident,” and stated, “We are going to do the right thing,” He also promised a personal commitment: “I’m going to do the best I can every day.”
By the end of the day, Reuters posted the headline: “Humble but firm, Dimon explains mistake.” http://reut.rs/K2v5IT And, JPMorgan stock was on the rise.
With his effectively executed recovery shot, Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan were back on (and in) the green.