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Never Forget

Brian Buck
© Scotwork NA

It’s been 19 years since 9/11. At the time, Scotwork had just opened its doors here in the US. Our North American headquarters was located in New Jersey. Like everyone else, we were uncertain about the future. We worried about further devastation. We feared the unknown. Almost two decades later, under different circumstances, we’re in a similar position. While we can do our best to plan for the unexpected, how we react is oftentimes more important than the planning that we do.

Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year. Pandemic. Wildfires. Hurricanes. Political battles. Social conflicts. Economic challenges. And it’s not over yet. I’m an optimist — I know that what we’re going through will come to an end and we’ll be in a less uncertain place. However, I also know that outside factors will disrupt once again. 

When outside factors disrupt your situation, take a page from emergency professionals as they react to their own disruptions:

  1. Remain calm. This is frequently easier said than done. But when you get that phone call or email alerting you to the disruption, take a deep breath and know that you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes at you. Even if you’re not sure exactly what to do next, your self-confidence will help you in the moment and allow you to remain calm.
  2. Assess the situation. Depending on the disruption, you might be tempted to react without fully understanding the circumstances. Before jumping into action, get curious about what’s happened, the scope of its impact and, if possible, why the disruption occurred in the first place. The more information you gather, the more knowledgeable you’ll be when you do react.
  3. Get help. You may need help to bring others in for the response, but even before that, seek outsider support and perspective. When you’re in the eye of the storm, it can be difficult to see it for what it is. Other people can help you to see your storm from different angles and give you a better bead on the situation at hand.
  4. Plan your response. With assessment and perspective in hand, go through your planning process. Focus on what you need to happen and what you want to avoid. Triage the most important issues, or the issues that need the most immediate attention. From there, fine-tune your response strategy, so that you can address the disruption calmly and effectively.
  5. Act. When the current course of action is disrupted, it’s usually best to act sooner rather than later. However, do so only once you’re ready — when you’re calm, have a handle on what’s happening, and have your team assembled. Then, be in the moment and adjust to the situation as it develops. And if further disruptions occur, go back to Step 1.


We may or may not be able to prevent the next external factor from disrupting our situation, but we can certainly control our response and get through it quickly. The better you react, the better the outcome will be.

When Outside Factors Disrupt Your Situation, Let Us Help!

Are outside factors disrupting your negotiations, impacting your time, or jeopardizing your relationships? We can help! Drawing on 45 years of real-world negotiating experience, we’ll assist you with getting better deals, saving time, and creating value for all involved — not to mention preserving and even strengthening relationships. Let us partner you with one of our advisers, ensuring that you’ve got the broadest view of your deal.

Talk to one of our experts today.

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