Thursday, 25 June 2015 11:43

Crises and drama queens

There’s nothing like a good crisis to spike the adrenaline and get the blood pumping. Leaders bark orders and followers – Oh joy! – follow unquestioningly. In times past there would be a period of calm before the next one but the new normal is more often a continuous sequence of crises. As soon as, or even before, one has ended, the next has started. The adrenalin keeps pumping and the drama continues unabated. Some people thrive on it; some burn out; others suffer in silence with intermittent bouts of short temper, headaches, stomach upsets and depression. 

There’s maybe not a lot you can do to control the incidence of crises around you but you can manage how you behave in dealing with them to minimize the damage. 

In analyzing or explaining what is going on you can stick to the facts without exaggerating or generalizing. It’s the difference between saying ‘The delivery was two hours late today’, or saying ‘These guys always deliver late!’ with accompanying eye rolling and hand wringing. The first statement is factual, but the second with its dramatic tone encourages an emotional response which will not help you find a constructive solution to the problem. Watch out for words such as always, never and everyone which raise the level of drama and stress. 

Secondly, distinguish between facts and opinions. By themselves facts carry no emotional tone. Opinions are a personal view of a situation and are often held strongly. Arguments are more often based on differences of opinion than they are on difference in facts. Clarify the facts before you offer an opinion and avoid the tension that accompanies misunderstanding and disagreement.

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