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Positively Managing Crisis Situations

September 12, 2001
Related Topics: Your HR Career, Featured Article
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It is said that in life the only things sure are death and taxes. In HR, perhaps the only thing sure is some sort of business crisis which HR must take a decisive role in correcting. Whether it's a time-consuming irritation or full-blown catastrophe, how we handle ourselves and relate to others is crucial to solving the problem.

Here are some hints to help you tackle a crisis:

  • Approach crises as a team. Allow everyone to "own a piece" of the problem. Don't be an overprotective parent by trying to shield them. Capitalize on individual strengths and give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the solution.
  • Critically assess your behavior and request feedback from others on how you handle crisis situations. Take responsibility for setting the example. Realize that others will assume it's OK to respond to a crisis the same way you do.
  • Overcommunicate to keep others informed and grind down the rumor mill. Consider implementing 5/3 Status Briefings--five minute updates at the beginning, middle and end of each day.
  • Conclude each crisis with a Post-Mortem Celebration. Review what happened, identify key learning that can be applied in the future, and celebrate the accomplishment of getting through it together.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission: 144 Ways to Walk the Talk. Copyright Performance Systems Corp., Dallas, TX.

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