Crisis management in business: Why negotiating with a naysayer may be detrimental

Posted by News Express | 26 December 2019 | 2,549 times

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Negotiating with a naysayer may be one of the worst choices available to business managers.

This piece of advice works well with personal detractors, as well.

In the world of business, the rule of the thumb is for competitors to strive to outperform each other.

Competition is healthy for good business, as it gives customers an array of viable options on which to spend their money.

Getting customers to part with their earnings is precisely why the business oriented embark on entrepreneurship.

The bad news is the possibility of detractors planting callous stories in the media, accusing a business, your business, of unscrupulous practices.

That singular accusation frightens shareholders and customers from your shares, products, and services.

Within hours of the accusation, share prices slump and, sometimes, protesters picket your business premises.

The first thing not to do is to tender an explanation on the allegations.

People thrive on gossip; the accuser is well aware of that.

If the market will believe your denials, they will have waited for your press releases, beforehand.

The market thrives on gossip and speculation.

Persons who love a ‘good’ gossip in their office about own boss and colleagues will not lose any sleep over believing falsehoods about another company.

The second thing not to do is to engage the services of a spin doctor.

The logic is simple: If the allegations are untrue, there is nothing to spin.

Besides, a spin doctor may well make matters worse by introducing dirty tactics.

Every firm ought to have a crisis management unit headed by a crisis manager.

The third thing not to do is to contact, directly or through a proxy, the accuser.

Why should you not do that?

Establishing any form of contact with the accuser is as useful as sticking an easy prey sticker on your forehead.

You also expose yourself and your corporation to accusations of intimidation and harassment.

On the surface, negotiating with a negative person appears as the easiest mode of quelling a crisis.

The damage done by such a negotiation will be permanent.

Cynics will query you. Why are you trying to silence critics? Why did you send money to your accuser?

Worse, others with a vendetta against you or your business can take the cue and commence a string of copycat accusations.

In the meantime, your company suffers, revenue shrinks, share price collapses to a ridiculous figure, and staff morale plummets.

Although a crisis in the company can reach personal levels, the accusation was not directed at any one person.

A vindictive person with a grudge against you will not go into a series of verbal assaults on you.

Ad hominem attacks have little effect on the target and, in fact, makes the accuser look stupid.

The pessimist will obtain better results by launching verbal attacks against your company.

The clear exception is where the accusation is of a crime and the person targeted is the culprit.

To minimise the damage and salvage the company, you can get personal, not against the detractor but to accentuate the excellent humane qualities of the business owners and staff.

Yes, allowing the public to know you, your principles, and your thoughts on a range of pressing issues will help to control the situation.

Yes, your views can differ from the mainstream, provided you are able to present your arguments as rational, balanced, and convincing.


•Umm Sulaim is the Publisher of Umm Sulaim’s Thoughts (

Copyright © 2019 Umm Sulaim. All rights reserved.

Source: News Express

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