Wherever there is conflict, confrontation and crisis, there is contention. In today’s Twitter, blogger and bloviator dominated world, working to resolve important issues, questions and decisions often begins very contentiously and ends only after one side is beaten and leaves the field; there is a mutual withdrawal, or mostly commonly, one side wins and the other side stays angry.
The weight of public communication on public officials is enormous compared to the communication requirements in private industry, even in the non-profit sector. It would appear America is entering an era of extraordinary change in the relationship of government to people. Changes and eliminations in programs and services, the handling of public crises in general, are gaining more scrutiny from more opinionated sources.
The highest priority, greatest threat and most crucial aspect of managing crises is the victim dimension. Victims provide the explosive emotional drive that results in high visibility, high liability and high anxiety. The reality is most organizations, hospitals, schools and universities do a sloppy, insensitive or timid job of dealing with victims. This can be very costly to your reputation.
Fictional President Josiah Bartlett: It has been awhile but I thought I might jot some thoughts down about where we seem to be headed and just ask some questions about the destinations we appear to be seeking. My question about reforming taxes in America is simply this: How will America remain great if we yet again give the really rich more than those who have less or nothing?
Civility and niceness begins with each one of us. Here’s one great example of a lot of people being helpful and decent to others, and the source is surprising.
Obtaining forgiveness is a process. The power of that process is diluted when it appears obvious that the perpetrator has no particular concept of or organized intention to apologize.
Well, we have a whole bunch of companies, laudably, it would appear, withdrawing their advertising from the Fox News O’Reilly Factor program which is currently experiencing a substantial scandal involving more sexual harassment charges against the show’s star, Bill O’Reilly. Fox News’ parent company has already paid five accusers $13 million to settle these grievances before any charges or allegations could be filed.
The five most powerful positive words/phrases in any language or culture are…
Probably the most important lesson I ever learned, years ago, about urgent and crisis situations was that whatever the nature of problem, it very likely had happened to someone else before it has or would happen to me.
This is one of my favorite tools for discussing serious problems with management. It is simply a side-by-side comparison of the assumptions we make about a given situation, and the realities of that situation in the words of victims, employees, critics and those indirectly affected.