Balancing Work and Family – Dealing with a Crisis

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,668
    Kathy Ameche, Traveler-in-Chief of, discusses dealing with a crisis.

    Kathleen Ameche: Hi! I am Kathy Ameche and I am discussing how to balance work in family life. Now I am going to talk about how to identify and work through a crisis. How do you react to a crisis in your life, what is really happening, is anything on fire, is anyone bleeding, is everyone safe, whose crisis is it anyway, is it small enough to handle alone or do you need to call in the reserves? One way to look at a crisis is this. What's the worst that can happen, what's the best that can happen, what if these things are the same. The power is in the pause. Take a breath, then another. A good rule to live-by is don't major in the minors. Have a plan B, and a plan C. For instance, I was on a business trip to New York City and got a call that the fire alarm was going off at house in Chicago. My husband wasn't available to take care of it, so I called my guy and asked him to go over and check on the house. I received this call 15 minutes before I was going to speak to 200 women. I had to put that call out of my mind and focus on the task at hand. Yes, it was easier said than done. But I had complete trust in the person who was going over to check on things and knew he would take care of whatever he came across. Or crisis at the office when you are home, it never fails like technology will go right, the day before the shareholders meeting or a year-end close. At 10 PM, the phone rang and there was an outage in the data center for which my department was responsible, denying people access to process year-end close procedures. We had an escalation and contingency plan in place that was immediately activated.

    Because of that planning, everyone knew their roles and responsibilities and the issue was resolved at 2 AM, but resolve nonetheless. I was in constant communication with my team and did not have to drive into the office. Pre-planning saved the day here.

    See how important the plan B is. But don't expect to win everyday. Remember, in baseball, a hitter batting 300 is a hero and despite of how it might feel, there will be another game. Live to fight another day is always an appropriate strategy. So that's how you identify and work through your crisis. Up next, I am going to talk about the importance of communication.