How to Deal with Crisis

  • Nov 18, 2020

No matter how certain our lives seem, everyone faces challenges daily. Sudden change can lead to stress, especially when we are starting something new. And extreme stress can lead to a crisis. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all gone through changes in our lives-- some may have lost a job, some may have lost a loved one, and others may be experiencing significant stress from the uncertainty and volatility of the situation.

Everyone faces challenges across various aspects of life, including work or school, family & social life, and finances. What we need to learn is a framework for dealing with these problems And that 4-step framework is crisis management. Here are is a rundown:

Step 1. Acknowledge-- Accept the problem.

Step 2. Assess-- Analyze the problem and ask critical questions.      

Step 3. Ask-- Look for a 3rd perspective and get advice.

Step 4. Respond-- Take small steps.

Acknowledge and accept

First, acknowledge that you have a crisis, or that something is amiss. Identifying the problem early on is key because the longer you ignore it, the more complex it may get. It is completely okay to take a moment and evaluate your situation. If it happens to be your mistake, accept and own it.

Assess and compare

Now that you've acknowledged the crisis, focus on the details. Is the first time this has happened? Has something similar happened before? How did you solve it before? Assess the problem, figure out where it all went wrong. Get specific!

Ask for a third perspective    

Talking to someone who is a stranger to your situation will help give you perspective. Describing the entire thing to someone can help you see the crisis with new eyes as you try to come up with a solution. This may lessen your stress, fear, and confusion. And the other person can offer insight from their own experiences. Talk with someone you trust, like a family member, friend, or mentor.

Take small steps    

First, try to remove any unnecessary stress by looking at the situation objectively and prioritizing helathy habits (like sleep!). Take a few deep breaths. Now, focus on your action plan based on your discussion with others and your earlier self-assessment. Search for the most practical solution, and don’t be afraid to seek outside help.

For some, crisis management can be very instinctual, but others may spend time denying the problem exists instead of working through it. Thinking “step-by-step” and seeking outside help are two critical steps to solving any major problem. Try not to let panic or fear overtake your mind. Hopefully, this framework helps guide your decision-making during any crisis you are going through. Good luck.  

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