Wednesday, 19 March 2014

There is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.

According to the astronaut Chris Hadfield:

"[in space] There is no problem so bad that you can't make it worse". 

I was watching to his inspiring TED Talk and thinking about this saying. His overarching message in his video is that in a crisis, or where there is (perceived) danger, the best thing to do is: 
1. remain calm
2. assess your options
3. communicate efficiently, and then 
4. take considered action.

Based on the above I want to introduce my leadership acronym: When in danger think COCC. (Calm, Options, Communication, Considered-actions)... Okay no more leadership acronyms. 

In typical astronaut style his example was when he went blind whilst out on a spacewalk on the International Space Station... However, I wan't to use a more "down-to-earth" example... (see what I did there? Okay no more puns.)

Really the saying "[in space] There is no problem so bad that you can't make it worse" is just as applicable to us earthlings. Furthermore, since most of us don't go through years of astronaut training, we are very good at making things much worse, quite quickly. 

In my normal work day the steps I know that I am guilty of missing time-to-time are the combination of: the assessment of my options, and communication - both of which are needed. On reflection my typically thought process when faced with a difficult situation tends to be: 
1. Remain calm (I'm quite good at this). 
2. Assess options 
3. Take some action. 

It is strange that I have been guilty of missing these key steps since my training with the RNLI has made me an effective helmsman whilst at sea, I have just failed to realise that this process is just as applicable in business as it is whilst at sea. 

I know recently that missing out the communication part has led to seemingly small problems much bigger than they ever needed to be. All because I didn't think COCC. 

Here is the talk: 

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