In a crisis situation everything moves fast, exponentially fast. The challenge is to get your message out early, factually and believably to your employees, shareholders and stakeholders – in part, to shut down and better manage the rumour mill fed by social media.

How does respect fare in this hothouse environment? It can be lost in a blink – possibly irreparably. How can well-anchored respect protect an organization during a crisis? For one thing, it can stop people in their tracks before they strike out on a tangent to further damage the organization or brand.

Beyond that, in a difficult time, respect can encourage others to listen to and even work with the company toward a solution. The actions and communications by the company and the CEO remain critical and will be under a microscope at all times.

In a crisis, every step must be considered and measured in real time. Once lost, regaining respect can be a long, uphill battle that may never be won. Respect in a crisis is protected or earned through transparency, honesty, consistency, predictability, compassion, and accepting responsibility.

It also means working with others toward solutions, putting a face to a name and looking after your team, employees, colleagues, their families and the community. These are the stakeholders of integrity. An invaluable, real time quality especially in difficult times.