Why is self-awareness important in crisis management?

Our ability to manage a crisis is highly dependent on our self-awareness. Developing self-awareness requires insight. When we learn about our triggers and healthy ways to manage stress, we learn how to effectively respond as opposed to just reacting. Feeling a bit anxious, scared, or angry during a situation is normal but when we become overwhelmed by those feelings, our cognitive process is hindered and we may provide an emotional response, potentially, escalating the situation. Our personal reactions and responses during a crisis will determine if the person can de-escalate or escalate further. It’s imperative that we learn how we respond in stressful situations before responding. These are some important aspects worth considering in developing self-awareness:

  • Recognizing our own values and beliefs.
  • Understanding different cultural, ethnic, and world views.
  • Becoming aware of personal self-regulation skills and triggers.
  • Being aware of your body’s responses.

Question to ask yourself during a crisis

When we become self-aware, we learn how to manage our own reactions and develop the emotional competency to effectively respond and manage a crisis. Here are some questions that can help you assess your emotional state during a stressful situation:

  • What feelings am I experiencing in the moment? Am I scared, nervous, or calm?
  • What is the person in crisis experiencing? Are they frustrated, afraid, or feeling disrespected?
  • What is the best way to respond in this situation?

It’s highly important to remember that regardless of how difficult a situation may appear, the person in crisis is attempting to communicate a need, a want, or a desire. During your interaction you should be present, patient, and actively listening to the concerns and if necessary, reflecting your understanding back to the person in crisis.

SMI Adviser will hold two webinars on Crisis De-escalation Strategies. Part I will be on February 3, 2022. Part II will be on February 17, 2022. During those webinars we will share additional details and strategies to help you manage crisis. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when they are open for registration.

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