Crisis Response Techniques

I was at an offsite at Google headquarters in New York last week and shared with my peers there a few techniques i’ve used successfully when responding to personal and professional crisis. My recommendations were as follows:

  1. We must differentiate what “actually” happened from the “story” or narrative or perception of what happened. Separate facts from myths

    Facts = 

  • To what degree is the damage

  • What system/ person caused the issue ; who was all involved

  • Who is affected and how 


  • Fear, paranoia, hyperbole, gossip, bias, haste

2. Clearly define which things, should they become true, would solve the problem. What does success look like? 

Watch out for band-aids, which seek to solve problems quickly; instead solve problems deeply. Your solution shouldn’t create new problems and should prevent this specific problem from happening again. 

3. Be cost effective: During a crisis we tend to overspend or overexert to solve the problem because we feel desperate that if we don’t act quickly our life, career, relationships, or reputation will be irreparably sullied. This is usually one of the “myths”. Calm down and put your wallet away! Even though it is an emergency, it isn’t worth selling the Ranch. Find the minimum resource way to resolve the issue - how can we fix this problem with less time and less money?

4. Be patient: rather than scrambling to put out fires asap take 12-24 hours to respond, if possible. That lag time allows :

  1. Space for you to come up with the best solution

  2. Time to gather info and sift between myths and facts 

  3. Time for the problem, in some unique instances, to actually resolve itself 

For a more thorough analysis on your personal or professional crisis, reach out to me or book time on my calendar and we will get after it, together. In the meantime, read up on the fruit of the spirit :) Cheers,