When a crisis strikes, the human body rapidly experiences both psychological and physiological upheaval, sending the body into a fight or flight response. This response typically carries us through the beginning of a crisis, as we experience an increase in heart rate and sweat (and a potentially twisted tummy) among other physiological responses. If we can remember to breathe deeply, we can decrease our heart rate and refocus our attention on the task at hand - primarily ensuring the safety of the students and staff who are in our care. We can then utilize our relationships with staff, and other soft skills, such as high-quality communication and stress management, to navigate the crisis at hand. Once the crisis is over, however, what happens next? This is perhaps where leadership thrives or, unfortunately, goes to die.
There are a few responses post-crisis that one must consider as a leader to appropriately propel an organization forward from the crisis situation. In any crisis, there is a logistical as well as an emotional aftermath that occurs. These are day-of experiences that must be attended to before a leader's work is done. While other staff members may be dismissed for the day to recuperate, a true leader will recognize that his or her next moves are critical to optimal post-crisis outcomes. Today, we will take a look at post-crisis logistics, or what we like to call the logistical aftermath.
What is the logistical aftermath?
The logistical aftermath of a crisis is the logical sequence of events that should happen immediately following a crisis. If leaders are lucky, this sequence of events will be clearly outlined in their emergency preparedness plans; however, that will not always be the case. It should also be noted that post-crisis outlines may not be relevant to the unique characteristics of the crisis that occurred. Thus, a leader should consider these next steps with mental acuity and make necessary adjustments based on the characteristics of the crisis at hand.
Taking a breath, considering your communication needs and planning ahead for the next day are all logistical next steps that can be executed after any high-stakes emergency event. In fact, these three steps are critical to how the public and your on-site audience will view you in response to the crisis. Tomorrow we will talk about the emotional aftermath that occurs post but same-day crisis event. How can you keep yourself in control as a leader when faced with the uncontrollable?