Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group
When facing a crisis, the first thing you need to remember is that the cover up is always worse than the crime. We all remember the line, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman — Monica Lewinsky.” Only to find out later that President Clinton did.
So fess up immediately. Start with an apology to the public and to whomever else you may have offended or caused harm.
It is like ripping off a Band-Aid. It may hurt but do it as fast as you can. Get it over with it.
For some people, apologizing is a foreign concept and their egos stop them from doing the right thing. As St Augustine said, “what is wrong is wrong no matter how many people are doing it and what is right is right even if no one is doing it.”
Start with, “I am sorry.” It will be a lot less painful then the chaos that will eventually ensue due to your attempt do deny or cover the “crime.”
Once you admit your mistake, right the wrong. Correct the mistake. Make amends with whomever you offended. Do the right thing even if no one else around you is encouraging you to do so.
If the right thing is taking responsibility for your actions and leaving your job for the greater good, then do it. If your presence will only continue to taint the entire organization or group, then step down. You will not be the first and doubtful you will be the last.
Knowing when to call it quits can make the difference between saving face and losing it. Your future employment and reputation is truly dependent on how you handle a crisis.
People will forgive the mistake if the offender admits to it but they will never forget the bullies, the liars, the backstabbers and the offenders too arrogant to fess up.
If you really want to put a crisis behind you then be the one to tell the truth before someone else finds out about it — because they will.
Committing an offense itself is stifling but the cover up could suffocate you forever.
Remember there are three simple steps to handling a crisis. Stand up and fess up immediately. Step up to correct it. And, step down so everyone can move on.