A while ago in preparation for some volunteering, I took one of the best training courses I’ve ever experienced, the Outdoor First Aid course at the UK’s national outdoor centre at Plas y Brenin.
Amongst other things, we learnt the Dr ABCDE structure of first aid.
And during a recent coaching session we used that structure to help manage a seriously high-pressure decision that my client was facing.
First, here’s a reminder of my notes from that course:
- Danger: Ensure safety for yourself, bystanders, and the casualty from further harm.
- Response: Check if the casualty is responsive or unconscious.
- Airway: Check if the casualty’s airway is open and clear.
- Breathing: Monitor if they are breathing normally.
- Circulation: Look for signs of life such as pulse, movement, or coughing.
- Disability: Check again for unconsciousness, possibly caused by a neurological injury or condition (e.g. check pupil response).
- Exposure: Expose and examine them for other hidden injuries, and ensure they are not getting cold.
If you need to manage a high-pressure decision at work, here’s my first-aid guide, using the principles of Dr ABC and applying them to great leadership:
D – Danger – assess first before acting:
- Assess the situation and potential risks before taking action.
R – Responsiveness – ask others for their response, seek allies and advice:
- Seek input, feedback, and advice from others to gather different perspectives and insights.
A – Airways – open up your choices about how to deal with the high-pressure situation:
- Explore a wide range of options and possibilities before narrowing down choices.
B – Breathing – monitor the progress and vitality of the decision-making process:
- Continuously assess the progress, outcomes, and indicators of the decision to ensure it is on the right track.
C – Circulation – take decisive action and stay committed to the chosen course:
- Follow through with the decision, implement it effectively, and dedicate the necessary resources and effort to make a significant impact.
D – Disability – evaluate the potential drawbacks and unintended consequences of the decision:
- Assess and monitor the potential negative effects or limitations of the decision, and be prepared to address them proactively. Learn from what’s happening.
E – Exposure – identify hidden risks and protect against unfavourable external influences:
- Be aware of potential risks or obstacles that may not be immediately apparent, and take measures to mitigate or avoid them. Protect the decision-making process from unfavourable external factors.
How do you manage high-pressure decisions and what can we learn from a first-aid approach? Click To Tweet
What else comes up for you, when you’re faced with managing a high-pressure decision at work? What do you need to take into account?