There, it’s panic within the company: a crisis has just arrived. A good glitch, even. First thing to do: try to keep calm. What’s next? How do you deal with a corporate crisis? This dossier offers you advice on how to act when a crisis occurs in the company.
Has a crisis occurred in your company to the point of throwing your work and all your time management efforts out the window? If so, it certainly happened this way: you were organized and efficient, and you had been working in a way that made the work you were doing important for quite some time.
A grain of sand went to the wrong place at the wrong time… putting all your work in the background. And that’s how you found yourself spending a lot of time dealing with this crisis, instead of doing your usual work. It’s frustrating!
These kinds of major crises happen no matter what you do to avoid them: even when you feel you have secured a maximum of company risks, you realize that a breach was opened in a very unexpected place.
How do you manage the crisis when it occurs? Calmly, by remaining zen?
If a new crisis were to occur, I offer you some advice on how to remain Zen and less stressful this time.
Emotionally detach from the crisis
This is the most difficult but the most effective: taking a step back enough so as not to be overwhelmed by panic, anger, exasperation or frustration. It’s hard not to let yourself be overwhelmed (flooded?) by the crisis but you may have noticed that things become more obvious when you think “factual and objective”?
A few tips will help you to detach yourself, to take a step back. It depends on the characters but personally when it happens to me, I completely change my environment and go for a walk. Basically, the goal is that the brain thinks completely about something other than the crisis that just happened. Just to take some oxygen.
It makes you feel cooler, even cold, to see the seizure from new angles and make decisions.
Hot seizure decisions are often wrong because they are emotionally charged!
Avoid seeking conclusions about the “meaning” of this crisis.
It is terrible to say, but as we have seen above, even when securing a maximum of elements, there are always elements that we do not think of.
One way to make things more difficult is to throw in the towel and say to yourself that this crisis is actually a huge disaster… just because a grain of sand has crept into the machine. We make and replay films, we jump to conclusions just because a crisis has challenged the established order.
The worst thing is to think that we are personally responsible for big mistakes, or even that the company is even a failure.
We have to realize that we cannot control everything, neither events nor life. The consequence of this defeatist path is to increase the crisis and its stakes. The crisis of the company becomes intimidating because the grain of sand becomes by mental construction a real mountain to climb… in socks.
To avoid turning the grain of sand into a mountain during a corporate crisis, one approach is to put the crisis in its rightful place. That is to say an additional delay, a waste of time, an obstacle on the road to success… and a new challenge to overcome.
This corporate crisis is coming upon us without warning and it must be dealt with. But if you take a step back, it’s no more difficult to do than anything else.
When a crisis occurs and I think back on it after a break, I try to imagine myself at the top of a mountain overlooking the valley. How small this crisis is! If your mind takes this crisis as a factual obstacle to be solved, you avoid spending time looking for explanations or having an existential questioning.
In this same spirit, I have abolished the word “problem” from my life for a few years now. I use the terms “contre-temps”, “différend”, “désaccord”, etc. And in the worst case “concern”… that is, any word more precise and more positive than the word “problem”.
The word “problem” remains both vague and negatively charged: everything can be a problem. And at the same time, the word “problem” does not carry the seeds of the solution!
What to do now? Act without asking questions!
The crisis is here anyway. The damage is done. It’s easier to stay calm and zen by focusing on possible solutions. Hindsight even helps to find objective and factual solutions.
So don’t hesitate to write down on a sheet of paper an action plan that will allow you to solve the company’s crisis step by step.
If you have found and have a plan, now is the time to act. Immediately take the first action to implement the solution to this corporate crisis situation.
In the meantime, by procrastinating, you are once again allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by doubt and existential questions. Think back to the grain of sand that becomes a mountain just because you think about it and dwell on it. It is not good for stress and it doesn’t solve the crisis.
Doing the first action very early on starts the crisis-solving machine. And you are naturally carried along by the actions of the solution.
With the conclusion of the crisis comes the time for introspection…
Once the crisis is over, you have time to rethink the crisis experienced by the company and its causes.
The mind is much more positive and therefore able to come up with ideas so that the crisis does not happen again: you come out of a victory.
Maybe the crisis was inevitable? Maybe it is possible to put in place procedures to help prevent it, or to facilitate its next resolution? Maybe there are elements in the company that deserve to be made more secure?
Depending on the degree of the crisis, nothing prevents you from postponing the implementation of decisions. Indeed, you have already done the intellectual work and “there’s nothing left to do”.
It is with calm that you settle the company’s crisis. And it is now with calm that you find long-term solutions.