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Managing Critical Situations


Gary Rhoads
Brigham Young University
David Whitlark
Brigham Young University
Edition 1
(rev. 1)

Everyone says you can’t manage crazy or fix stupid. In today’s work place, we at least have to try. A recent study found 4% of corporate professionals could be described as being a psychopath—people who have no conscience or empathy and who do not care for anyone but himself or herself. They are found wherever people seek power, money, status, or control. Many people working for and with such bosses and coworkers feel frustrated because they haven’t learned the necessary skill set to effectively respond and deal with all the craziness and stupidity. From what we have seen, most people can manage the expected but often fail miserably when confronted by the unexpected critical situations in their life.

In this book, Stop-Think-Lead, we suggest tactics and approaches that will protect you from the collateral damage brought on by people who have destructive tendencies or simply do stupid things. We begin by discussing the four types of response styles you typically meet in the workplace: Robotics, Dish Outs, Pooh Bears, and Legitimate Leaders. Next we highlight the Stop-Think-Lead framework to help you keep a cool head even when a situation provokes a strong and negative emotional response. Lastly, we provide you basic survival skills for dealing with today’s over-stimulated, over-indulged, and self-absorbed coworkers and bosses. The book is designed to teach specific skills, tactics, and attitudes that help you manage the critical situations at work and home. The tactics are framed in a way, which makes them memorable, entertaining, and useful. Overall, the book is built on the premise that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. The ultimate skill is the art of tact: the art of making a point without making an enemy by learning to Stop-Think-Lead.

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