It’s time to vaccinate against panic

How to save your employees’ butts without scaring off their pants.

How to save your employees’ butts without scaring off their pants

Panic is a part of human nature. It’s also inconvenient, as panic influences individual decisions and can derail your most well-intentioned advice. How you deal with it reflects on your skills as a communicator.

For example, somewhere there exists a perfect formula for chest compressions and rescue breaths that will give a dying patient the greatest chance for survival during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You’ll never hear about that perfect ratio in a First Aid class because it’s not a round number and therefore discourages people from even attempting CPR. What is optimal in a controlled environment doesn’t always translate to the real world.

Which brings us to swine flu.

Many companies have reached onto the dusty bookshelves and found the white binder with the Avian Flu Pandemic Communication Plan, or something else they cobbled together three years ago. It’s quite possible parts of that plan were copied over from the Incidents of National Significance Plan, or whatever your HR people called it so the word “terrorism” wouldn’t scare people in the title.

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