4 Points of Crisis Management

4 Points of Crisis Management

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
Chinese Proverb

As individuals, we’re exposed to conflict on a daily level. We get into arguments with loved ones. We curse at the guy who cuts us off on the highway. We become angry because of decisions made by other people that affect us.

One of the Criminology courses I’m taking in university is called introduction to policing. Today I wanted to share some important lessons I learned that day. It’s something that law enforcement go through often in their careers. It’s a great skill that benefits all of us regardless of what your jobs or interests are.

It’s about crisis management.

People need time


See that poorly drawn graph above? The shaded area is a person’s “rage” meter. This is when a person is at the peak of their anger. Give them time to calm down. Don’t rush anything just yet. Some people get extremely fired up at first and their judgment gets clouded. After some time has passed, the “rage” meter will start to decrease and come down.

Watch your tone of voice and conduct yourself appropriately

Many summers ago, I had a job as a carnie. No, I wasn’t the guy that dressed in the clown suit. I was the guy that had to make your kid wait in line in front of that Scooby Doo or Spongebob Squarepants bouncy castle. It continues to be my observation that when a parent’s kids are involved, all sense of logic and reason goes out the window. The supervisor on deck never stopped preaching to us to watch what we say and to not lose our temper. Direct any extremely flamboyant customers to the supervisor. But above all, don’t lose your cool. Because by raising your voice, you’ll only escalate the problem even further.

And no, I didn’t clean up when your kid peed in my ride either. I got people junior and I to do it. Hooray for seniority (and bless the guy that invented Fuh-breeze).

Reflect on what they’re saying and keep talking

Try and understand their perspective. Keep the conversation going. Try and find common ground. Learn to compromise. What exactly is the subject fired up about? Is there a way for you to help and resolve the situation?

Give them space and distance

When dealing with high risk offenders, keep your distance and give them a lot of space. It doesn’t hurt to have a lot of objects (or tables) in the way especially if the person in question is pissed off at you. It just means there’s more crap they have to navigate through in order to injure you. This also means not deliberately trying to set them off even more. You can tell when someone is mad. But you can also tell when someone is downright pissed. They start saying things they wouldn’t otherwise normally say. Their volume and tone reaches heights it wouldn’t normally reach. It’s not a cue to keep pressing their buttons. Its a cue to just stop.