- Work in a fast-paced, dynamic, and demanding environment.
- Encounter curve balls and have to deal with the unexpected.
- Have people looking to you for answers and direction.
- Must rely on your experience, knowledge, procedures, or the example of others as you respond to a crisis.
Here are six practices to employ in the face of crises:
- Prepare and Plan. Success in uncertain times often comes from the preparation you do long before the crisis emerges. As I mentioned, we rehearsed before every parachute jump. We walked through scenarios, explored contingencies, and practiced response.
- Assess the Situation. When I collided with the other jumper, I instinctively set out to assess the situation. Am I okay? Is he okay? Do we have two parachutes open or only one?
- Surround Yourself with Strong Players. The soldier I was tethered to remained calm. He didn’t deploy his reserve parachute. He didn’t panic. His actions helped me and vice versa.
- Monitor Performance. The entire way to the ground, we were watching the parachutes and looking out for other jumpers. Although your initial reaction matters, crises are, by default, inherently fraught with unknowns.
- Remember What You Know. Up unto the point when uncertainty hits, you’ve likely been learning lessons, experiencing situations, and growing wiser along the way. Don’t underestimate what you know. It’s probably far more than you give yourself credit for.
- Act Decisively. When stakes are high, indecision can be costly. Don’t act in an unsure or hesitant manner. Wavering only increases uncertainty and diminishes confidence which leads to problems.