If you fly, you know the familiar safety speech given by the flight attendant. You can probably recite most of it with me:
“All carry-on items should now be stored securely, either in an overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. All aisles, exits, and bulkhead areas should now be clear. If there is a drop in cabin pressure, panels above your seat will open, revealing oxygen masks … Breathe normally and note that oxygen is flowing, even if the bag doesn’t inflate. Be sure to adjust your own mask, before helping others.”
Wait—what about that last instruction? Be sure to adjust your own mask before helping others? Why is this included?
Because the best way to help others is to start with yourself.
My hope is that no one reading this will have to take action on this flight safety tip while in the air. But it’s pretty sound advice, whether on a plane or on the ground. You may benefit to reflect on this advice when you feel like you’re losing oxygen during service disruptions within your own team or with your client. When the people you support are in a crisis, they’re relying on you to present solutions and positive energy to assist them to calmer air. So, being customer-driven in a crisis, is being ready to respond.
Each of us have our own way of being ready. For me, it starts before the crisis begins by staying organized and proactive. If you’re already behind your own deadlines, adding another one to your list will cause undue stress and depletion of your own oxygen! Especially during stressful times, we need to keep our focus and strength, so we’re ready to lend a hand and guide people through the bumpy path.
When you place your mask on first, your needs are addressed, and you can fully focus on your clients’ needs. So breath, don’t panic.
Put—and keep—your mask on so you can help clients through their turbulences.