For most of us, the workplace is a stressful arena dealing with the idiosyncrasies of the boss and colleagues is hard enough without a sudden crisis situation being thrust upon you. Crisis can arise in any form without any warning – a key team member is taken ill just a day before an important presentation, a volcanic blow up of two warring colleagues, you suddenly notice that you are passed a deadline or your computer crashes and you do not have any data back up.
The fact is that while a crisis is not a regular occurrence, it does happen. So the best strategy to deal with it is to be prepared for it. Here are a few tips on managing problematic situations:
This may seem rather obvious, but is seldom implemented. It is essential to have strategies in place to counter any unforeseen difficulties. Also, most often than not, there are always advance rumbles before the explosion. The key is stay alert and prevent any minor nuisance from blowing up into a major crisis.
Eliminate the cause:
It is crucial to identify the root cause of the problem isolate it and find a remedy to it. The atmosphere needs to be controlled to stop the situation from snowballing further, it is also needed to restore shaky morale. Take on the mantle of Leadership and display authority based on sound knowledge. Keep in mind that this is not the time to lay blame or point fingers.
It is easy to lose control when deadlines are staring you in the face and things have gone horribly wrong. But tearing your hair out is no the solution. Stay calm and take stock of the situations, chances are that it’s not as bad as it first seemed.
Unrealistic fears can just worsen the problem and if your focus lies in worrying then the solution will be a far cry away.
It never helps to sweep problems under the carpet; they will just lie there and multiply. An ideal solution to a crisis is to make your superior and colleagues aware of it as soon as it develops. This way you can brainstorm and consult with each other to reach the optimum situation. Also, it always helps to get an outside perspective on a problem. And you never know, you might come across a plan B.
This is not just some moral you learnt in school. It is essential to implement damage control processes, but you need a well-planned and thought out strategy as well. Remember that short time solutions may not get with your companies long term objectives.
Any crisis at work can be either prevented or resolved, the key is to keep a cool head, not disrupt the functioning of regular operations and do damage control with a clear perspective of the future. So don’t feel distressed in distress.
The best thing to tackle crisis is to anticipate possible problems in advance if you are a team or group head and plan your strategies so that the problem may not occur or solved before it becomes a crisis. Also ensure that a particular function in your work area is not the sole function of an individual team member of your team. Ensure that for each function at least two team members are familiar so that if one goes on leave the other can carry out his work. If you are a fresher and only team member try to know about other work functions of your department so that you can carry out the same in the absence of your regular colleague.