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CRISIS MIX

As you acquire experience with people in crisis and with crisis situations, you will realize that crisis may be, and usually is, a mix of red, yellow, and black.  It is important to see that crisis color refers to the mood or affect of the individual in crisis.  As we talk with him, we usually see that his mood tends to fluctuate.  Occasionally, we will see an individual who starts out very angry—who is in a red crisis.  As we talk with him, his anger gradually softens and becomes less intense, but his mood or the color of his crisis never appears to be yellow or black.  Similarly, we may occasionally see a person experiencing a yellow crisis, and as we work with him, he is gradually able to calm down, become less anxious, and generally think more clearly.  Throughout this process, however, we may not see his mood turn to anger or his crisis turn black.  In addition, a person in a black crisis may gradually become more animated and involved in his surroundings without reflecting any red or yellow dimensions to his crisis.  More typically, however, crises fluctuate between red and yellow, and less frequently between red, yellow, and black.  The important thing in crisis communication is for us to understand and tune in to the mood or color of the crisis but remain sensitive and responsive to shifts in color or mood.

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Please send comments or questions to Gary A. Crow, Ph.D. GAC@GaryCrow.net || and visit www.GaryCrow.net.