Ask all the questions, avoid all the chaos

By | May 24, 2012

Chaotic situations are rooted in no one knowing the answers they need to to stay calm, stand still, and think about basic shit like being quite while decisions are made. To survive after the apocalypse you’ll need to limit your social chaos. How? By asking the right questions —and then having the answers and making people listen.

I’m not typically one for too much pre-planning or excessive deliberation–I’ll take as long as you give me to think about something but then end up making a spur of the moment decision anyway. However, even I realize that the simple exercise of developing a problem solving mindset that includes quickly asking the right questions and processing their answers can drastically affect the survivability of a situation.

The most basic question is usually, “What are we doing?!” or “What’s happening?!” These are valid questions that having answers to would help clam the situation down.

People might shout out other things like, “We NEED to hide!” That’s a suggestion, and a damn good one, recognize it.

Someone else might say, “We’re all gonna Diiiiie!” That’s not helpful. Shut them down quickly and with authority. They don’t deserve to talk.

With almost all situations there’s an easy way to bring order to chaos: QUESTIONS.

1. The first thing you need to do is establish what the problem is.

Not “it’s the apocalypse.” That’s a bit too big. What’s the right now, super pressing problem? (Maybe: Mortars are landing all around us.)

2. Can we solve the problem? (We can’t stop the mortars. This is an external stimulus.)

3. What can we do to avoid being affected by the problem? (Solution: Avoid the mortar’s by seeking cover.)

4. But how do you get them to do it? This is where you need some patent-pending Shut The Fuck Up Logic. There’s always someone and the voice in the back of someone’s mind saying, “Eh, I don’t know about that…” Even if you are wrong, now isn’t the time for argument! You need to conclude with the compelling reason to followup what should be a practical reason but above all else, must be compelling. (STFU Logic: This bank is fortified to withstand bomb blasts.)1

5. What happens next? This is our “Call to action” or “next steps” portion. People need direction and prompting. (Next Steps: go inside the bank to avoid getting hit.)

How to avoid chaos? Communication is key.

1. Put your answers together in the form of 2 confident, direct statements: THE PROBLEM IS [   ], WE [can/can’t] FIX THIS. WE NEED TO [   ]; BECAUSE [   ], WE NEED TO [   ].

Example:

THE PROBLEM IS mortars are landing all around us, WE can’t FIX THIS. WE NEED TO Avoid the mortar’s by seeking cover; BECAUSE This bank is fortified to withstand bomb blasts,  WE NEED TO go inside the bank to avoid getting hit.

Try using the handy problem solving mindset I’ve outlined above in real life and let me know how it works out for you.

 

Do you have any solutions for managing the chaos of social situations either before or after the apocalypse? 

  1. This statement doesn’t need to be true, just compelling. Lead with your Logic.

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