1. Answer the question. Be honest, be insightful, and don't fudge around with talking points and rhetoric. Just answer. Truthfully, honestly, and to the best of your ability.
2. If you don't know everything, find out. Get some advisors that you trust, and study with them. Don't just walk around saying, "Well, I think this, but I'm not sure." Find out and be sure.
3. Don't use fancy words. Employees don't care about corporate policy or return on investment. They want to know if they still have a job. They want to know if you think they're doing a good job or not. They want to know if you care about your company, your employees, and the well-being of everyone who contributes to your business. Just say what you need to say.
4. Be approachable. Don't sit in your office and avoid people. Join your employees in the lunch room, challenge the stressed out sales team to a game of basketball, buy everyone movie popcorn, and above all, smile, shake hands, and look people in the eye when you're talking to them.
5. Keep looking forward. Address the crisis, deal with the issues, but remember it can't last forever. Things will get better. If you stay hopeful, your team stays hopeful. Hope is a very overused word, but at its core is the idea that no matter how bad it gets, everyone is in this together (disagreeing or not) and everyone is willing to work hard and to go above and beyond, as long as the boss points the way and believes that it's doable.
No matter what the crisis, employees and businesses need leaders, especially this year, right now, in the middle of this crisis. Please lead, we need you to.