How Will You Successfully Solve Your Reputation Crisis
In reputation crisis, people can get stuck in analysis paralysis or fight or flight. That rarely proves helpful.
Most people, companies or organizations of any kind don't expect to end up in a reputation crisis and because it is so unexpected, when it happens, it comes as a complete shock.
What results is often very common - people freeze, get stuck in what is called analysis paralysis. It's exactly as it sounds, where we think, in confusion and struggle to make a decision.
Or the part of their brain called the amygdala is triggered and they resort to the fight or flight reflex.
None of this helps problem solve successfully.
"There's a way to do it better - find it."
So what is it, that better way?
Like with most emergencies that could happen in our life, it is wise and protective to have a smart, plan for safety.
Just as roadside assistance, homeowner's insurance, an emergency fund in the bank, health insurance or life insurance is so vital, a plan for reputation crisis is going to help you significantly protect someone through the discomfort or pain.
A smart plan helps mitigate risk.
Yet how many people consider it - a plan - before they need one with their reputation, whether it be in business, their career, on a job, in a personal relationship or with the law? Not many, right?
Why? It's not natural to think how our reputations might not always be strong, healthy or even decent.
So what type of plan, specifically, will prove to be excellent "insurance" and risk management?
It's important to realize that reputation is just another risk that needs to be accounted for, planned for and that precautionary measures should be put into place.
Consider this - if your reputation - whether as a business, leader, employee or a partner in a personal relationship goes south, as in sour, what could it cost you in trust, credibility, status, career prospects, money, relationship balance and strength, harmony, happiness, physical health and peace?
Most people never think of that. Then when the crisis hits, they are left shell shocked, often angry and resentful, maybe depressed. It's not an enjoyable or tolerable place to be.
Next, create a legal, moral, wise plan to problem solve. Will you be able to do this alone, successfully? Can you alone fully implement what needs to be done to problem solve thoroughly? Do you have a trustworthy, strong circle of influence that can support you and also help you succeed with specialized knowledge? Will it prove enough?
Do you have a professional who can help you through it all if need be? Most people assume such a professional is an attorney, so they can defend themselves or "fight" back. Or a public relations firm, they think. While both of those choices, either individually or together can be helpful, they may not be enough.
Instead, what about researching, including interviewing a specialist for reputation and crisis? It is valuable to take notes when you do that research. Consider pros and cons. Pick someone though. Have them on speed dial like any other professional you value and know you might need one day like a doctor, medical specialist, mechanic, accountant, attorney, etc.
Now you're preparing for what might not ever come but still could. It probably doesn't surprise you to hear that most people and organizations in reputation crisis never predicted or imagined it would happen to them.
Yet, as they say, "here we are."
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
At that point, the other critical recommendation is a combination of constantly building reputation capital through your best, most healthy, unselfish, careful decision analysis, decision making and behavior. It's poise, wisdom and conducting yourself in a manner that won't create fertile ground for crisis, negative judgment, attacks and harsh consequences.
It's seeking wisdom in life, being teachable and yet standing firm on healthy beliefs, attitudes, decisions and actions.
It's learning, in adversity, to respond with humility, courage and high-level character.
This article is not a lecture. It's advisory guidance to illuminate, provoke thought and provide added protection for your professional and personal life, your well being.
Preparation and character health are a stronger level of immunity against reputation crisis damages and pain.
Michael Toebe is a specialist for reputation and crisis, serving organizations and high-profile individuals. His work incluces ongoing advisory, consulting, coaching and communications. He is the publisher of the Reputation Times newsletter and has been published in Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, Corporate Compliance Insights, Training Industry and the New York Law Journal. He is writing a book on reputation and crisis and can be found on Twitter @ReputationTalk.