Crisis Quotes and Tips

Crisis Management Quotables by Bernstein Crisis Management… If you haven’t discovered them, you’re missing out on the opportunity to draw inspiration from little snippets of communication wisdom. Each CMQ post has a single quote with words of related advice. And while I have seen a limited number of these posts, they are easily my favorite component of the Bernstein Crisis Management blog. So here I have compiled a list of several of my favorite quotes from the CMQ posts and attached a little tidbit of my own advice to each:

1) “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Identify your goals. While anticipating a crisis is impossible, it is important to have a plan in place for how you will react. If you don’t know which course of action you are going to take, you will flounder when it comes time to search for an appropriate solution. Set goals for dealing with crisis and decide how you will respond in advance.


Image by Mike Baird via Flickr

2) “A mediocre speech supported by all the power of delivery will be more impressive than the best speech unaccompanied by such power” – Quintilian

Expressing emotion and showing passion will resonate with your audience much better than a monotone delivery. While the words and what you are saying are important, they don’t make or break you. Be sincere. Show people that you care about the issue and be careful about relying on and reading off the prompter. Dare I reference that awkward Netflix apology video again?

3) “There is a world of communication which is not dependent on words” – Mary Martin

Body language. Body language. Body language. Public speaking terrifies the majority of people, but being nervous during your speech can be misinterpreted as being disingenuous. Practice your delivery, and make sure your nonverbal communication is sending the right message.

4) “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake” – Confucius

Allow your audience to see a genuine effort on your part as you search for a remedy or solution. Find out where you went wrong and figure out how to fix it. Otherwise, you’re doomed to repeat the same mistake.

The final quote that I’m going to share with you is one that I stumbled across on StumbleUpon (go figure, right?):

5) “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity” – John F. Kennedy

Now, I’ll admit that I have a limited knowledge of Chinese characters. But even if this translation is somewhat inaccurate, the message still resonates with importance: Don’t get lost in what can be the overwhelming negatives and potential pitfalls of a crisis. Instead, recognize that the opportunity exists to remedy it. You just have to dig deep and utilize your creativity to uncover it.


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