Volume 4, Issue 12

December 2015

Blue Ridge Conference

Save the Date:

October 5 - 7, 2016

Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

Black Mountain, NC

A Season of Crisis

As we are now in the holiday season, I reflect on the many tragedies occurring throughout the world, most recently, the senseless actions in San Bernardino, California.  As I watch the news every day, I’m struck with the feeling that we are indeed living in times of crisis in the world.  While some of these events may not affect us personally, we all face varying types of crises either in our personal lives or in our work place.  So how can we survive during such difficult times?

First, to quote Scarlett O’Hara from the film, Gone with the Wind, “tomorrow is another day.”  Our history has shown us to be resilient and to bounce back from many adverse situations.  Likewise, when faced with workplace issues, it is important to remain calm and not overreact.  I have found that following the old adage of counting to ten before speaking works wonders!  Many times I have wanted to lash out at someone but have resisted and usually after a few minutes I have calmed myself and avoided making a difficult situation worse.  So yes, remain calm and don’t overreact.

Second, a workplace crisis can bring stress to everyone involved.  People respond to stress in many different ways.  Effective communication can serve to ease the stress and tension.  So as managers, it is important to keep everyone informed about the nature of the crisis and what steps can be taken to resolve the crisis.  So be sure to communicate quickly and effectively!

Third, always have a plan of action.  Remember the old saying of prepare for the worst but hope for the best.  Sometimes the old sayings have great value and that is one.  So be prepared for the worst case scenarios. 

Fourth, your work colleagues will be looking to you as a manager.  So it is important that you stay visible in your workplace during a crisis period.  Don’t hide out in an office somewhere.  People want to see leaders lead! 

So with these things in mind, stay focused on the positive.  Even in a time of crisis, there can be good outcomes down the road.  As we enter the holiday season, we can all hope that we never encounter a crisis but we will.  It may be the loss of a loved one personally or it could be a job loss or other work issue.   Stay positive!

And with that, we wish each of you a wonderful holiday season full of joy and happiness for you and your family.

-John Jahera

 The contributor to December's newsletter is John Jahera, Ph.D.

 Board Member, Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership

 Bobby Lowder Professor of Finance

 School of Business, Auburn University


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