In times of crisis, it’s easy to lose perspective and let ourselves be affected by the spread of anxiety. We want to help you and your business focus on opportunities for growth that arise when the world around us gets more turbulent. We’ve put together these ten strategies that we hope can help support your creative thinking, communications, and actions as you navigate the months ahead.
1. Stay in the present.
We create our own future every day, through our contributions, achievements, and results. Ignore all those experts who never saw the present situation coming. Instead, focus on what you can do in these 24 hours and shape the future you want.
2. Get out of your head.
Uncertainty can make people feel isolated and helpless. The best thing you can do is get out of your own head and focus on helping other people transform their negatives into positives. The more you do it the less you’ll worry about your own situation. Just like panic, confidence is catchy.
3. Deepen your relationships.
When things get rough, people and businesses tend to get worried about the commodities. Will their products still sell? Will their jobs still be there? However, the strategic thing to do is to focus on deepening your relationships—with family, friends, team members, customers, and prospects. With stronger relationships, the viability of your commodities will increase as well.
4. Focus on creating value.
When times go crazy, people become even more risk- and innovation-adverse. They don’t want to be sold to. What they do seek is value, the solutions that help them eliminate their dangers, capture opportunities, and reinforce their strengths. Focus on providing these solutions, and the sales will naturally follow.
5. Practice Opportunity Spotting.
When a crisis hits, things that people often take for granted disappear. It’s dangerously easy to get stuck in reminiscing about your losses and continue using the old tactics. A better strategy is to adapt to change—find new ideas, new tools, and new resources. Focus on spotting entirely new opportunities that will help you achieve more than you ever have in the past.
6. Do you what you can do.
Things might not be as easy as they used to be. But thinking “I can’t handle this,” or “I can’t get through this,” will only affect your ability to cope. Instead, think of this time as a challenge that will make your mind, spirit, and character stronger. If approached correctly, now is when you can make the greatest progress as a professional and as a human being.
7. Look inside for direction.
Many people define themselves by external circumstances. When these abruptly change, they hang on to their old identity. Take your direction from the inside—from your ideals, values, and guiding principles. These should remain intact. Turn the external confusion to your advantage and focus on becoming self-directed, self-managed, and self-motivated.
8. Be creatively responsive to changes.
Many people like the feeling of being in control of things, it gives them comfort. When unplanned events happen, it might cut the ground from under their feet, leaving them feeling depressed or defeated. The secret to consistent success is accepting that you can’t control events, but what you can control is how creative you are in responding to them. That is where you need to put your energy, efforts, and focus.
9. Plan for the Post Crisis
When a crisis develops, many desirable resources become scarce, including information, knowledge, tools, systems, staff, and capabilities. These deficiencies can paralyse many people and prevent them from taking action. A strategic response is to take advantage of every resource that is immediately available to achieve as many small results and make as much daily progress as possible. Work with what you have at hand, and your confidence will grow.
10. Choose gratitude over complaints.
In times like these, everybody has a choice to make: to complain about things outside of their control or to be grateful. As Albert Einstein once said; “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” It helps each of us when we create the opportunity for the best thinking, actions, and results to emerge.
I hope that the above strategies will help you in the challenging weeks and months ahead.