Wouldn’t it be great if when a crisis happens we could call up our local superhero to save the day? “No need to panic everyone—The Flash will be here in a minute to run backwards in time and fix it all.”
Unfortunately that’s not a realistic option. As association professionals we have to understand how to react and what processes are in place. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t channel our inner superhero to help us save the day. When facing a crisis, ask yourself, are you:
With her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman symbolizes transparency, justice and fighting the good fight. As it suggests, her weapon of choice forces people to tell the truth. When a crisis hits your association, do you channel the Amazon Princess and stay transparent with the audiences affected? Encourage your employees and stakeholders to speak the truth? Once a reputation is damaged it can be exceedingly difficult to rebuild branding and the trust once held in your organization. Sharing everything upfront can help to avoid damaging blows down the road.
The Incredible Hulk
Hulk Smash! Behold the pretty well-known catchphrase of the The Incredible Hulk. Throughout the Avenger movies, Tony Stark refers to him as a “giant green rage monster.” It should be pretty clear where I am going with this one but, just in case, here is the message: When a crisis arises, don’t let your inner green guy out to rush in and deal with the problem angrily. Instead, try to be more like his alter ego Bruce Banner (he is a scientist by the way). Analyze the situation, think logically and design a course of action to take moving forward that will be in everyone’s best interest.
“With great power comes great responsibility.” Not all crises have someone at fault (i.e. earthquakes, health emergencies, etc.), but occasionally a situation does arise where someone needs to step up and take responsibility. Historically, cover-ups are bad, and can end up being worse than the original misdeed (*cough…Enron). Show you can learn from your mistakes and like Spiderman, accept the responsibility that comes with power.
Yeah…just try to avoid this one altogether. SPOLER ALERT—the superhero always wins.
What about you? What is your crisis management style? Are you like another superhero not listed above?