Recently I was part of a webinar on crisis communication and it was totally intriguing. Why that webinar? I have decided to expand my range of knowledge and challenge myself to understand different aspects of work deeper. This ensures that once a week I do a webinar in a topic that interests me. So last week I did one in human resources and the one in crisis communication I mentioned earlier. In the crisis communications one, I heard a statement that shifted my axis and settled deep within me;
Don’t waste a crisis.Stella Kiguta Nganga
A crisis is defined as a season of deep or intense difficulty and danger and the current covid19 pandemic fits that definition. We are facing uncertain times ahead with lockdowns taking effect across the world, overdoses from proposed medications, fear and terror about infection rates and tracing challenges, seemingly looming shortages and outages and the general uncertainty of the unknown. There have been and likely will be more job losses as companies grapple to find ways to keep alive and in reality, there are companies that will be brought to their knees and never recover.
Don’t waste a crisis is such a loaded statement because many of us waste crises.
How do we waste crises? Crises have the ability to strike us deaf and dumb, catch us in sticky mud like back cotton and keep us stranded. Crises shake our beliefs and desires as they strip away our sources of strength thus hinder our ability to walk forward and deal with life. I know it sounds odd to say that we can waste a crisis but think about it for a bit. Did others find themselves in crisis before us? Yes! Did they ALL survive? No! Who did? The ones who took a different look at life!
For many of us, our default setting when trouble or challenges come our way is to ask why or why me. How about changing the questions to why not me or who else should go through this? I know it sounds like madness but that small shift changes perspectives completely. It is a lot like the half full half empty perspective of the glass and that is what I want us to think about.
Every crisis has a lesson for each one who goes through so why not focus on that.
If there is a lesson in every crisis then can there be another way of dealing with it? Most certainly. When we say don’t waste a crisis we mean, learn all you can from every crisis that you may have the right tools for the path ahead. Why? Life beyond the crisis is never the same as life before it thus a new set of skills are needed to navigate this life. How do you navigate a path you have never been down if you haven’t developed a new set of skills to deal? You can’t.
How do we harness a crisis?
- Shift Perspective: Challenges come to make us strong and the acceptance that there is something to learn shifts our ability to overcome and accomplish more.
- Ask Questions: Questions are the best learning tools you have in your arsenal. Ask about root causes, trends, rising numbers, locations, patterns of communication, failures, successes and anything else you may be curious about. If you cant find answers from your questions, change the set of questions and keep asking no matter what.
- Be keen: Keep your eyes peeled or open to see. What is there to see? Reasons for the situation, answers to questions, new phenomena, causes, challenges…anything that helped contribute to the situation, provided solutions and possible lessons.
- Right Conversations: You will find that not many people see things the way you do and will either think you are mad or discourage you from this new perspective. When your mind shifts or begins to shift, find people who will challenge the thought process without demeaning your position. If you get dismissed, review the response and assess its validity but keep your ground on your thoughts, they will make sense
- Reflect & Review: Take notes of key lessons, capture your key thoughts and assess them. Take time to think through it over and over until you see the realities coming to mind. Read others comments and ideas to grow your own but capture your thoughts that you can review and deepen them for growth.
- Stop and Listen To God: Our sure radar is God for he never sleeps or slumbers nor forsakes us. His answers are sure and His word is reliable. His ways lead to life and His love is eternal. He is the answer to all our questions and His thoughts are so much higher than ours that we will understand more as He brings us clarity.
Remember, that every crisis make us bigger, better and badder. Remember that no matter where it comes from, we will come out better because we will never again waste any event in our lives. Remember that God has allowed this situation to build us up and make us stronger and He has the solution.