Crisis As A Partner

One thing that stuck with me listening to Phil Towle’s talk to Christopher Lochhead* is that we can treat a crisis as a partner. It doesn’t have to be a welcome partner or one we particularly want to deal with, but’s its presence is inescapable. It may help to think of it as an entity. Once the crisis sits down at our table, it’s here.

Since the crisis is at our table, it can now serve as a catalyst for making decisions. We only have control over what we do next. Our choices represent where we want to go and who we want to be going forward. If that’s different from where we were going or who we were looking backward, our new partner is here to enable this moment.

When we are talking and consulting with clients in difficult situations we are dealing with an extra party at the table. The partners and the dynamics are altered when the crisis shows up. By personifying it, we can help separate it from who we are and what we are feeling to drive forward-looking change.

Crisis is rarely a welcome partner, but it’s always a real one. When we help people to acknowledge it and make some choices, we can help people to move forward in ways they’re accepting of. It might be hard, it might hurt a little, it might hurt a lot, but it will be progress that happened because crisis showed up.

*think performance coach to Metallica meets marketing consultant to disruptive tech companies. The full interview is on the Follow Your Different Podcast ep. 41.

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