How to handle the situation of conflict and extreme provocation


I am penning down my opinion purely from Personal Brand Management perspective; nothing more, nothing less. I am writing this caveat in the beginning itself because what I going to write has serious political and emotional angle, which whether I like or not, will come up in the reader’s mind beforehand reading the whole article.

Two incidents which played out in neighboring states of West Bengal and Bihar last fortnight shook the entire nation. In NRS Hospital, Kolkata, an eighty five year old person died due to some medical complicacy. His relatives brought in two truckloads of more people and brutally assaulted the doctors and hospital staff, putting few of them in ICU, battling for their lives. Doctors protested and demanded security along with bringing culprits to face law of the land. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee descended on the spot, blamed doctors for playing politics and threatened them instead for grave consequences, if they don’t withdraw their protest. How far it is true I don’t know, but some reports suggested that senior officials at ministry were about to resolve the conflict, but sudden outburst of Ms. Mamata Banerjee changed it all. It led to widespread and nationwide protest by doctors; common citizens and media all across also joined it. Situation became grave because in response of Chief Minister’s threat, doctors of West Bengal started resigning from their job. While emergency services were not hampered but other medical services were badly impacted.

Sudden outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome at Muzaffarpur, Bihar and resultant death of more than 140 children led widespread criticism of Chief Minister of Bihar, Mr. Nitish Kumar along with Health Minister of India and Bihar state. Mr. Nitish Kumar was getting hammered from all side for lack of expertise and facilities at Muzaffarpur to handle this situation. But rather than rushing to Muzaffarpur immediately, he allowed the situation to come in control and anger to subside and when he visited, he promised to make Shri Kirshna Medical College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur 1500 bed hospital bed along with 150 beds ICU. There was extreme provocation from all side for him to respond but he kept silent. He talked in the last but talked only what was needed.

Both the examples throw few interesting points on how to handle the “situation of conflict and extreme provocation”.

  • Assess the situation before responding.
  • While responding, don’t allow your biases and heuristics take over your brain and don’t allow your heart to get better off you.
  • If you don’t have immediate solution and someone else has, then allow that someone else to take the lead and find the solution.
  • Allow the situation to settle down. When things are blowing up, you may not know when it is going to end and if you respond when things are blowing up, your response may stir counter response.
  • Choice of words is very much important. Engage someone more capable to write your words.
  • Deliver the final solution and walk away. If you stay there for long, people will have the availability of pain fresh in their mind and more than your solution, they will focus on the pain.

Personal brand management can yield you immense benefits if you are in public life but you need to in awareness stage all the time. You will have to continuously work on it and communicate it to all the stakeholders. If you are finding it tough to handle yourself, then engage someone to handle it but do it diligently.

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