Assertive Crisis Management

A few weeks ago, I nearly missed my flight and escaped certain doom in Don’t Miss Your Flight, Superman. One of my loyal readers asked me a profound question. “How did you make your flight?” I referred to my final thoughts, “I was nice, but assertive.” The reader was not convinced. I got off my high horse and dug deeper.

I’ve been spoiled the past few months. Most of my readers are like-minded and can process my stories, lessons, and mantras. But in an effort to improve my writing and expand my audience, how can I expand my post to readers who don’t process things the same way? Taking a step back, my posts may be lacking some detail.

Turning Point

Let’s go back to the scene of the crime. After waiting for a mind numbing, anxiety filled half an hour; one of the attendants informed me I was in the wrong line! I needed to wait in another line that would have wasted another half an hour. Three agitated customers immediately swarmed the attendant. What went through my mind in those precious moments?

Shake Off Disbelief

I was stunned for a few seconds. “How could this happen? My wife is going to kill me. My friends and family would be disappointed.” I peered at the clock. I had one hour left. Can I logically wait in line, burn another half an hour, waste more time with the security screeners, run to the gate, and hope a seat is still available? After a few more seconds of processing, I had to find another solution. In the past, I would bury my head in the sand and hope for the best. Even though I most certainly would miss my flight, I would justify the result with “What else am I supposed to do? I did try my best to get back into line and hoped for the best!” I was so afraid of confrontation or being assertive that I would choose the path of least resistance even though the outcome would be the worst possible one for me. I would subconsciously miss my flight to avoid dealing with the crisis head on.

Final Thoughts

If this is your thought process, let me tell you from my experience, there are better solutions than the one you usually take. In fact, although it is very uncomfortable at first, knowing you are looking to maximize your gains and be more efficient, choosing an assertive solution is a win-win-win scenario. You just need to get over the hump of speaking up for yourself and getting what you need. Your old way of non-confrontation, on the surface saves you from being uncomfortable. But in the long run, you waste your time and you scramble everyone’s plan around you. In fact, you are going to head for even more confrontational moments, especially since your significant other will not be a happy camper. Remember that phrase, “A happy wife means a happy life.” I know some of these words are like Greek and perhaps right out of a fortune cookie. But take a step back and ask yourself, Could you tweak your old mindset for a happier more efficient life? Is speaking up for yourself really that bad? Being assertive and getting what you want isn’t evil and confrontational. It’s all in your head. Let these non-productive thoughts go.

Stay Inspired!

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8 Responses

  1. krantcents says:

    Unless you are a celebrity, you need to take action! No one will naturally come to your rescue unless you do. You can smile, be pleasant, but you must speak up. Besides it just feels better!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      You hit it on the head. My delusions of grandeur made me think I was a celebrity! Seriously, I did feel good about it after, but if it is not natural it takes practice.

  2. JT says:

    This is a great post (series, maybe?), Buck. I know what you mean.

    Sometimes it’s just easier to let it slide, or to assume that telling someone exactly what you want is a little confrontational. It almost sounds bad when I put it this way, but pending that the circumstances are aligned, I just tell myself I’m never going to see X person again. I know I’m probably not going to be the worst customer or contact that day, but it still gives me the “oomph” I need to get it done. I don’t really care for confrontation, nor do I care to lead anything. I’m fairly happy hanging out on the backburner until something really rubs me the wrong way.

    On the other hand, my girlfriend dives into these situations like she’s defending a stack of gold. She’s far faster on her feet in getting what she wants. She’ll tell it like it is, and have no regrets. Almost a yin and yang thing with us–I’m slower and more calculated, whereas she’ll just brute force the situation immediately. Urgency seems twice as important as important to her than getting objective X (whatever it may be) done, although both are goals.

    Any chance your wife is your opposite?

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for your insightful reply, JT! Good advice, will try it some time to give me an extra oomph, too. Your relationship sounds exactly like mine. Yes, my wife on many things is my opposite. Yin and Yang all the way! In your opinion, what makes a stronger relationship? Two opposites or two people who are very alike?

      • JT says:

        I think it does make for a stronger relationship in having very broad differences. We disagree on plenty, act differently to almost everything, but we’re very aligned on the core values, which pretty much covers up any differences. In a lot of ways, having clear (and obviously agreed upon) dividers in interests and personalities makes it so we don’t have any places to really get uptight about.

        That said, this is anecdotal experience from someone who should be last on the list for relationship talk. LOL.

        Do you find it to be positive or negative? Neither?

        • Buck Inspire says:

          I agree with you. It does make for a stronger relationship. Two people who are too alike, will get comfortable, and sadly may eventually get bored. Comfortable like a nice pair of socks, but the passion or spark might fade over time.

          A huge positive in a relationship with two very different people is having at least one of the two handle a problem area because it happens to be their strength. More areas are covered than two people who are very similar. However, the big negative is if you happen across something where both partners are lacking. Big trouble as no one is properly equipped. Can’t win them all. Hopefully the relationship is strong enough to work through those areas together.

  1. June 17, 2011

    […] Crisis Management at Buck Inspire-What would you do? Are you assertive or not? I think Buck make the correct […]

  2. June 1, 2012

    […] Crisis Management at Buck Inspire-What would you do? Are you assertive or not? I think Buck make the correct […]

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