- Attack and blame
- Take to drink or other substance
- Disappear and avoid
- Pass the buck
- Become hysterical
- Project your anxiety or anger onto others
- Take it out on your spouse
These are some of the ways people react in a crisis situation. Read on for alternative options for handling crisis.
Crises in businesses appear in all forms and categories. They can be slow building or appear overnight. They can be business oriented or personal and have an impact on the business. Some are predictable, others not.
For example, a partner may become seriously ill, a major client may leave, the economy may change and your product is no longer a high priority, an investment fails, a key employee leaves, a supplier doesn’t meet a deadline and you are left with unfilled orders. The city is renovating the street in front of your store and clients shop with your competition because the approach is easier. The list of possibilities is endless.
How does a business and more specifically the partnership handle the crisis? It depends on many
things. The personalities and the history of how they handled crises in the past are good clues. The manner in which the crisis is handled can escalate or calm it down. The list at the beginning of this article shows examples of unfortunate behavior that escalates the problem.
Here are some better ways to handle crises:
- Remain calm
- Review former successful resolutions
- Evaluate the repercussions of the crisis
- Examine options
- Break down the required actions to small tasks
- Confer with others
- Brainstorm for creative ideas with key players
- Accept responsibility
- Ask for help
Because history will play a very big role in how you and/or your partner handle a crisis, it is important to prepare for it before it happens, as explained in the What Ifs Scenario Guidebook. Even though not every crisis can be predicted or prepared for, there are things that can be in place to minimize the trauma and the damage.
Here are some suggestions:
Have resources available: an emergency fund, a coach, and other consultants dealing with specifics such as technical needs, key employees who can step in, alternate sources of income, excellent communication skills, and regular meetings to recognize, discuss and preempt problem
areas before they erupt.
Ongoing honest communication and regular meetings to discuss problems when they are small can avert or minimize meltdowns. If the crisis is totally unexpected, the partners, rather than attacking each other, can use their communication skills and their commitment to the success of the partnership and to each other to pull together and handle the crisis and/or call in a coach/consultant to facilitate their difficult conversation.
Refer back to the second list in this article.