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How to Stay Calm in a Crisis in Business

Calm-crisis-at-work-200Crises happen in every business. How we react to them makes all the difference to the success of our business, as well as our own health and wellbeing.

In this article for the Sydney Morning Herald, I offer some expert advice on how to cope with stressful situations in the workplace:
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Business coach and crisis recovery specialist Tracie O’Keefe says a typical response to a stressful situation is to get into panic mode, react emotionally and focus on the worst-case scenarios that could happen as a result of the crisis.

“While emotions can drive actions, when they precede good assessment processes, you’re firing at an unknown target with a blindfold across your eyes.”

She recommends getting all the information you can before making a decision on what to do next.

“While the temptation may be to react emotionally to the situation and start ‘awfulising’, it’s far better to take a measured and informed approach, because you’re able to see more possibilities than when you’re in the middle of a panic,” she says.

You may have a problem with stress if you’re constantly sweating, have shortness of breath, feel anxious, hear your heart pounding, get angry easily, drink or smoke to mask your problems, or argue with everyone over the silliest things.

You may also be more susceptible to a range of physical conditions such as digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome and tight, painful muscles or aching joints, O’Keefe says.

Break the cycle by first noticing your reaction, assessing what you’re saying to yourself.

“What critical, dramatic self-talk is going on inside your mind? Then change the dialogue,” says O’Keefe. “Tell yourself this is an opportunity to grow and be open to new, creative possibilities. Also, get your staff, if you have them, to help you remedy the situation. Don’t try to do everything yourself – spread the load.”

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Read the full article on the Sydney Morning Herald My Small Business website here.

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