With our connected and very fast-paced world, it’s likely that you’re dealing with unexpected situations of varying levels of seriousness on a fairly constant basis. When faced with unprecedented circumstances, people often take the path of least resistance. This is rarely your best option.
Here are some tips for handling unexpected events you may face in your career.
Communicate Clearly and Quickly
Once you decide how to proceed in a situation, communicate how you’ll do so without mincing words. Crises do not go away. Face the situation head on even if avoidance looks like the easier path. Be prepared. Know the details. Understand the context. Discuss only the facts; don’t speculate because if you’re wrong you’ll only escalate the situation.
Take Personal Responsibility
Nothing is more damaging to a reputation than avoiding responsibility or being deceitful. Admit your errors and move on.
Crises have a way of becoming all-consuming. While that’s probably appropriate for you, as the leader, it is less appropriate for your team members to become preoccupied with them. Address what needs to be addressed with your team and then refocus them on their deliverables.
Capture Your Learnings
When the situation has been resolved, take the time to debrief—both alone and with those involved. Use the experience to benefit you and your company. What went well and what could have gone better?
Hopefully you’ll never experience a full-fledged crisis in your career. Maintaining your composure and following these tips will help you navigate in case they do.