How to act when the “panic button” is pushed!

Do you have fun at work? Yes?

Well, however comfortable and fun work may be there is always an occasional time of crisis. And crisis – is NOT fun.

Not everyone handles a crisis well. The following incident that one of my friends was telling me about is a good example.

She works as a Sales Executive for a company that sells herbal diet pills. They work as teams with a Team Leader heading the division. Each member of the team has a ‘sales target’ of selling 200 cartons of pills within a 3 month period. This happens to be an unreasonable target, given that the product is fairly new in the market. The team leader understood, and therefore did not pressurize the team to meet the target.

But what happens when the CEO decides to make a surprise visit?

One morning, the secretary receives a call announcing that the CEO would be coming down from India in 2 days, and that he would be visiting the office.

When this news reached the Team Leader, all hell broke loose – yes, he pushed the panic button! He summoned the team and began yelling at them for not meeting their sales targets. The enraged employees retorted with “How could you expect it when you didn’t ask for it all these months?”

As you can see, this situation now turned into a never ending blame-game!

What the Team Leader should have done

The surprise visit of the CEO was indeed a crisis but the Team Leader hit the ‘panic button’ instead of thinking of a solution. The result was a ‘blame-game’ which only won the hatred of his team.

The Team Leader should have focused on ‘handling the situation’ before yelling at his team. The crisis here was the CEO’s surprise visit. It is clear that the team had not met its target, so the TL should have come up with a suitable solution instead trying to evade his responsibility by blaming his team members.

What you should learn from this example

Never press the panic button!

From this example, it is clear that no good will ever come from it. But unfortunately, most people react in same way the Team Leader did in the face of a crisis – anger followed by a defensive attitude of transferring the blame to someone else.

Whether you are an employee or a boss, a crisis bound to happen at some point of time. Adopting a practiced calmness is the only way to handle such situations. Just remember, pushing the ‘panic button’ is going to be of no help.

Have you dealt with a similar crisis? Let us know through your comments.

Ganesh Ranganathan

Ganesh is the founder of Integra Global Solutions and Handdy.com. He heads the company’s worldwide business from Pennsylvania, USA. He has over 20 years of experience and in working with many Fortune 500 companies. In building up Handdy.com and its divisions he has picked up several priceless and useful lessons that he is sharing in his blogs. This will be helpful for any business executive

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