How To Manage A Crisis

How To Manage A Crisis

Things always creep up on us expectedly: the normally, happy and even compliant customer suddenly turns very demanding for no apparent reason, your star member of staff turns very unreliable, the pitch that has worked so well for you in the past becomes an unusable and even irrelevant message and your plan for the following day, week, month or quarter unravels before your eyes.

This is truly energy-sapping, the stuff of nightmares!

Our energy ebbs and flows, especially on a Monday but also as crises come and go. During the good times you have ample energy and focus to deal with this and you feel more in control, BUT stress and anxiety add to the burdens causing us to lose focus and the ability to rationally deal with the crisis.

There are several strategies that can help deal with such issues and that can help us through what Monday has to offer and put the control back on the situation.

  1. Accept the situation. However difficult the situation is, and however much you have stressed and worried about the problem(s) that you are facing you MUST face up to it, however difficult this may be. To deny this drains your energy while you go around in ever-decreasing circles. This is not a signal to give in however: what is happening here is that you are accepting the situation and having a clear drive and determination to resolve it.
  2. Identify your emotional attitude to the topic. If you can accept your feelings and recognise what is both limiting and empowering about how you perceive the issues you can focus your attention in the right areas to bring about the best possible outcome that you need. If you are clouded by illogical and inaccurate emotions the task becomes harder, takes longer to resolve and ultimately will drain you of energy and application needed for the host of other issues that need your attention.
  3. Remove yourself from the problem. Look carefully and objectively at the issues from a distance. How would your colleagues see the issues and problems, and could they offer you some objective opinions that you cannot see because you are too close to see the real problem?
  4. Look for options and choices. NEVER be drawn into a plan or a course of action without fully considering all your options. There are always a range of choices on how to deal with a problem or a crisis and just opting for the first path without considering alternatives is a recipe for complete failure. The chances of success in opting for action without considering alternatives are always very slim.
  5. Look after yourself. Be clear on what is mission-critical and what is not. There is no point worrying and spending time and effort on something that is marginal to the success of what you are trying to achieve. Also be aware that you will need to recharge your batteries and to continually reassess your priorities and success and drawbacks present themselves!
  6. Saying NO! do not be afraid to say NO if there is a need to do so. You cannot do everything and by not saying NO all you do is add more pressure while reducing your risk of success at the same time!
  7. Negotiate NEW deadlines. If the current deadlines are unachievable they need to be changed to something that is realistic and which are a valid measurement of the situation. When do colleagues need your finished product and is that point in time possible for you? Always keep your word however in terms of what you do agree to if the new deadline has been negotiated and set out carefully.
  8. Set some realistic boundaries. Be clear when and where you are available and how this will be structured. Set these and stick to them – this will reduce your stress levels and allow you to concentrate on your goals.

Good Luck!

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