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Value Creation Blog

What Do You Do When You’re In Crisis?

Posted by Josh Patrick

crisis management resized 600We’ve all been there.  Our day is going along very nicely and boom, the phone rings.  What was shaping up as a really nice day has just turned your world upside-down.  You may have thought this emergency was never going to happen, but the Universe had different plans for you.

All of us have had this happen.  For me, it was the call that I had to go in for a biopsy.  For you, I hope it was something less serious.  I also know that you’ve had at least one of those calls, it’s part of life.

The question is what do you do when the call comes?

The first thing I suggest is that you name it for what it is.  Trying to pretend that an emergency hasn’t happened just doesn’t make any sense.  I believe and I hope you do also that there is a lot more compassion in the world than most think.  When something really bad has happened, others jump into help.

It took me almost no time to decide that keeping a cancer diagnosis a secret was not a really good idea.  I had no idea where help would come from, but I just felt that it would.

There are plenty of others who don’t feel that way.  I’ve never been able to figure out why.  I know, you’ve heard stories about people wanting their privacy and I get that.  In my opinion, privacy is just an excuse to not call the problem what it is.  Privacy allows us to pretend that our problem or issue is not as big as it is.

If you don’t name it, you can’t normalize it.

The second step in handling a crisis is to try to normalize whatever is going on.  For me, it was getting a plan of action into place.  Who was going to take care of my clients while I was in treatment?  Would I be able to do anything?  What would happen to my family if things turned really ugly?  These were things that I needed to handle before my cancer treatments started.

Once I accepted the reality of cancer, it was pretty easy to figure out ways of handling it.  That was the process of normalizing or how to make my world seem sane again. 

You see, when you enter the world of crisis your world is turned upside down.  You’re going to have to re-create what a normal situation looks like.  Doing this by yourself is a difficult thing to do.  Those who don’t name the problem and name it publicly often have a very difficult time dealing with crisis situations. 

Bad news doesn’t get better with age.

This is one of my favorite sayings.  It fits in with crisis management.  Not naming the issue and not moving to normalize your situation is just hiding.  Hiding bad news from those you love and those who need to know never works out well. 

I hope that when the phone rings for you, you’ll be ready to name the crisis.  I hope you’ll be able to name the crisis publicly and put an action plan together.  I hope you’ll take the help that will be offered by others.  This is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.  It also feels good to have others help carry the load.  After all, wouldn’t you be willing to do so if the table was turned?

Many times this type of crisis happens when you’re in transition.  We have a workbook that can help you figure out what you need to do first.  The work book goes into what we call the decision free zone.  This is where you’ll only deal with important and urgent items.  The rest gets moved onto the back burner.  To get this workbook, click on the button below.


Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Topics: lessons learned, personal value, transition planning

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