Proven Crisis Handling Techniques and Key Crisis Management Principles Proactive Crisis Management

Proactive Crisis Management Principles — Proven Crisis Handling Techniques

Proactive crisis management principles and crisis intervention steps are proven crisis handling techniques. These are tools you can’t do without. You never know when you’ll need them. Come and learn how to prepare and handle the next crisis or emergency more effectively. You’ll be glad you added this to your life-skill tool belt.

When we are in crisis, our primitive instinctual mode takes over. It releases adrenalin and a host of other hormones into the blood system. This primitive instinct enables us to move quickly and be stronger, but our thinking powers are diminished.

Effective Crisis Intervention Steps

Our fight, flight or freeze instinct (the 3 F response) is our primitive mind’s emergency switch. It works well if we need to act quickly to escape a predator but not so well when we need to think about how we should react.

So, the first step in a crisis is controlling our emotional response. When we activate the 3 F response, the brain protects itself from these hormones by shutting off circulation to the higher thinking centers. But we need this capability during a crisis to think clearly before we act.

Any fearful situation can trigger this primitive instinct. In a crisis, it is easy to become locked into this survival mentality, engaging the primitive mind. This makes some people self-centered, selfish, and even violent. Our frontal cortex makes us different from other creatures. This part of the brain enables us to analyze what’s going on before we overreact.

We can make the split-second decision to activate this mode or not. Sometimes, we don’t need to analyze the situation. Let’s say we are walking on a path and encounter a rattlesnake. We jump back, which saves us from being bitten.

A pandemic is like hand-to-hand combat. It’s a dangerous situation that constantly changes but lasts months or even years. Here is where proactive crisis management principles help us to keep present and focused. These proven crisis handling techniques are a skill set you need to implement for the best long-term results. You don’t want the mind to be in the 3 F response state for long periods of time.

But sometimes, we can make the wrong decision if we don’t analyze the situation. For example, in a hand-to-hand combat situation, you need the higher thinking functions of the mind to remain in control and analyze the ever-changing situation.

Proven Crisis Handling Techniques

“Emergencies send sparks to the darkest corner of us. They wake up our hormones and neurotransmitters, they remove the rust from our body and mind, and they show us we can still handle a crisis with poise.

Emergencies push us to our limits. At those limits, the best inside us comes out. The eyes of our mind open, exceptional vision occurs to us, and we have a chance to become extraordinary.” ― Indrajit Garai, The Seeker of Well-Being

Proactive Crisis Management Principles

Living long-term in crisis and pandemic situations has detrimental effects on decision-making. We don’t recognize what’s happening because we are experiencing stress over an extended period; things seem normal when these conditions are not normal.

It creates the disaster movie effect. Even though people may not show outward emotional signs of the trauma, it still affects their thinking. Diminished, compartmentalized thinking becomes the norm. It prevents us from seeing other crises that are also going on, like climate change.

Fear causes people to hoard goods to buy unnecessary things like guns. They are reacting to the fear and allowing it to filter all their decisions—the problem is they do not know how to control their emotional reaction to the situation.

These are the types who go to the grocery store during times reserved for older adults. They steal things they want from the shopping carts of others.

The crisis intervention steps are easy to remember. These are the three Ps of crisis intervention:

1. Use a Proactive Crisis Management Approach

When you are unprepared for a crisis, it always ends with a larger cost, not only in terms of monetary damage but also in the toll it takes emotionally.  So, being proactive will minimize the effects of any emergency or disaster.

Before you can plan and prepare for emergencies, you need to identify the potential risks. Some free risk assessment resources on government sites can help you consider things you may not have considered. Brainstorm and ask yourself what could go wrong.

Look at historical events in your area. Listen to the experts who are keeping tabs on things like climate change and communicable diseases. These global factors impact us more and more each day.  Also, look at practical measures that others in similar situations have taken to minimize potential hazards. For example, if you live in an area prone to fires, make sure vegetation does not grow close to your home.

2. Preparation

After you have identified what could go wrong, you can plan to eliminate or minimize the impact. Anticipating the worst-case situations gives us insight into building effective crisis intervention steps. Preparation is about planning. It means creating an action plan so everyone knows what to do in case of different emergencies. It often includes creating emergency kits or “go bags.” The first thing to prepare is the mind by building a positive mindset routine. If you can control your emotions, you will follow your plan and make better decisions.

3. Practice Your Plan

The reason we have fire drills is because taking the right actions can save lives. It means rehearsing your plans to keep them fresh in your mind.

If you implement these key crisis management principles, you’ll be able to perform during a crisis with the fewest issues.

Building a Positive Mindset Routine

Staying in a positive mindset is difficult in life-threatening situations, but it is a proven tactic that helps you keep the mind from reverting to the fight, flight, or freeze mode. To think positively doesn’t mean ignoring the facts. It means controlling your attitude to look for solutions.

Now for the bad news. The pandemic is not something that will end anytime in the foreseeable future. It is likely to last for years, putting those immunocompromised at risk. Otherwise, healthy people can contract other viruses like the flu in addition to COVID-19, which increases the severity of the illness.

Living with the pandemic long-term is the new normal. So, the best strategy is to learn to think positively.

Regaining emotional equilibrium is the only way to ensure you are making accurate decisions. When we decide based on fear or anger, it has negative consequences. Here are the steps that will help you regain control of your mind.

1. Acknowledge Your Fear

The first thing you need to do in proactive crisis management is to acknowledge your emotions. Once you do this, you can think about handling it and stop yourself from acting out of fear. That’s because fear quickly turns into anger. This simple act will help in building a positive mindset routine that you will need during the crisis.

Yes, a crisis is scary, but I refuse to act selfishly. I will preserve and protect the interests of myself and everyone in my circle of influence. The first crisis intervention steps often determine the trajectory of your other options. So, learn to acknowledge your fear but resist being overly influenced by it.

How do you acknowledge fear but resist its influence? The key is to observe and control our breathing. When you react to fear, you tend to inhale and hold your breath. So, learn to observe your breath. Then, when you feel yourself holding your breath, let it out. Take 3 or 4 slow breaths. If you can close your eyes, this also helps you observe your body. It’s the first and most important aspect of navigating crises.

2. Be Aware, Assess and Act Prudently

Don’t deny or ignore what is going on. Hiding from your fears or concerns doesn’t make them go away. Also, please don’t engage in activities that flaunt the danger. In a pandemic, people who refute the opinions of epidemiologists and scientists make things worse.

Assess your resources. What do you have that you can use to solve problems or issues? Be creative. Don’t overlook the simplest items that can be used in multiple ways.

Watch for people who get caught up in conspiracy theories. Don’t follow the opinions of those who are unqualified. Beware of those aligned with far-right political and religious agendas. Please don’t get caught up in their brand of delusions. It will only exacerbate your emotions. Think positive during the pandemic and avoid people or sources promoting extremist ideologies.

Learn to think before you act. Guard your words and actions. Learn to be aware of your surroundings and the larger community, but don’t let your emotions get caught up in negative thinking. People will tend to act out of fear or anger during a crisis.

3. Research and Follow Qualified Experts

The best advice comes from trained epidemiologists at organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (1). If you see others providing conflicting advice, don’t follow them. Emergencies change rapidly, so be prudent and resist, acting out of fear.

The ability to maintain your emotional equilibrium is vital. Staying calm and thinking about the long-term consequences of your actions is essential. Keep building a positive mindset routine to make the best decisions. So, the incident involving the eggs you took from that lady’s cart will live on as an example of emotional behavior. She will tell the story to her friends and family, as will everyone who observes it.

Above all, stay away from talk show pundits spouting crazy claims, contradicting genuine experts.

4. Help Others

Instead of taking the eggs out of the lady’s cart, offer the last carton to her. She’ll remember your act of kindness and tell her friends and family. It’s the kind of example you’d rather be than a selfish person. Sow the seeds of kindness and compassion instead of greed and selfishness.

Remember, the health of the individual depends on the health of others. This is the primary reason for setting up pandemic teams around the world: stopping the spread of disease keeps everyone safer.

So, when we help the neediest, we are helping ourselves too. The homeless and economically disadvantaged (2) are the most vulnerable during a pandemic. The disadvantaged have fewer options. Social inequities make essential resources scarce and out of reach. Be the person who sets an example of a healthy, well-adjusted person. Help those who aren’t able to help themselves.

5. Speak up

If you observe injustice, speak up to the right resource. And this includes voting and involving yourself in positive social change. Allow karma to do its work. Again, guard your words and actions.

Keep yourself safe, but don’t shut down. It’s a delicate balance between speaking out against injustice and putting yourself in harm’s way. So, reach out to those who are in a position to help. Use your smartphone to record incidents that showcase injustice and inequity.

6. Manage the Stress

Last but not least is remembering to take time for appropriate self-care. When you live in a culture under pressure, it causes a state of anxiety. So, managing stress will guard your mental and physical health.

Suppose you don’t know how to learn to meditate. There’s a simple but powerful two-step method everyone can use. Whatever other method of self-care you choose, schedule it and practice it. We know the right things to do, but put them off, anyway.

In Conclusion

Learning these key crisis management principles is an investment in building a positive mindset routine that can help you handle emergencies. These are proven crisis handling techniques that can save lives. You’ll be glad you added this to your life-skill toolbelt. It puts things in perspective.   People on the planet are separated not by language, geography, or oceans but by the artificial boundaries we put in place.

Caring for each other and our beautiful planet is the only way to build a just and verdant social environment for the future. You must learn to think positively during the pandemic is the new normal.

“In a world where millions of human beings live in extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack medical care, where pandemics continue to kill, it is imperative to pursue good-faith disarmament negotiations and to shift budgets away from weapons production, war-mongering, surveillance of private persons and devote available resources to address global challenges including humanitarian relief, environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of pandemics, and the development of a green economy.” — Alfred-Maurice de Zayas


(1) World Health Organization, who. Int and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
(2) Social Inequality and Solidarity in Times of COVID-19.