28 March 2016

Two free things that will make a huge difference in an emergency...and every other day

Everyday more and more people seem to be waking up to the fact that something very bad is heading for our country and that time is running out.  Many people respond to this by buying guns, ammo, food, water, and making other preparations.  A small percentage of those folks will seek training besides what they discover on Youtube and forums.  Unfortunately, there are two things that it takes a life time to train for, but get very little attention because they are so every day and so mundane.  I am talking about your relationship with your family and interpersonal communication skills.  There is nothing to buy, nothing to carry around, just the results of who you are as a person and who you are in your family.

Some of you may or may not know that I run a men’s ministry called Iron Sharpens Iron. One of the big things we emphasize is that men accept their responsibility to their wife and children.  Most men that claim to do that really mean that they go to work every day and support the family.  They don’t “lead”.

Their wife makes most of the decisions and sadly their kids don’t even know who they are.  Since the 70’s popular culture including TV had made Dad out to be a goof who is really just another kid for Mom to take care of.

Flying a fair amount I see the outcomes of the detached Dad over and over in airports.  When you enter your airport, you give up a lot of your control.  People become edgy and nervous.  You see the happy family on the trip to Disney World.  The stress and confusion on the Dad’s face is evident. Mom runs things and the kids know it.  He is along for the ride.

No matter what, most of us experience this to some extent, especially those in emergency services and the military.  We are unplugged for long periods of time forcing Mom to step up to the plate.  Then we show up and wonder who are we to just jump in and start barking orders.  It is a fine line.

But no matter who you are, whether you have just a wife, just kids, blended family or whatever, in time of an emergency will they listen to you and do as you say without argument.  After all, if you are reading this you are probably the default leader of the group.

Does your family freak out when someone gets hurt at home or you are involved in a non-serious motor vehicle accident?  While we are on the subject, do you freak out when things go sideways?  If you do, how can they respect you as a leader in case of a real emergency such as a violent attack or forced evacuation.  How well do you know your family?  The people you are preparing to protect, take care of, spend an unknown amount of time in a rough situation.  If you are wondering, now might be the time to stop stockpiling gear and strengthen relationships.

The second part is interpersonal communication skills including conflict resolution.   The more fights you become involved in, the bigger the chance of losing.  Do you view yourself as Rick in the Walking Dead? During any and all emergencies you are going to have to deal with all kinds of people who are already stressed out and over protective from people just like you to first responders.  If you regularly make a habit of getting angry when you don’t get your way in daily life, you will do the same thing under stress.  Raising your voice or even using the wrong inflection will draw unwanted attention and put people on guard.  There are ways to get them back on your side, but it is much easier not to have to use them.

First of all you have to learn to see and hear yourself as the world does, not as you do.  Take me for instance.  I am big, bald, and covered in tattoos, so I use that to my advantage.  My appearance is my visual flashbang.  People have a certain reaction, but I am purposely soft and well spoken.  Now they don’t know what to think.  It is all about getting my needs met.  Often the first thing I say has little or nothing to do with my business.  Within seconds, I am inside their mind and well on my way to getting what I want.  The vast majority put no thought into what they say and how they say it.  Another one of my favorite tactics is to greet them in such a way that they think we know each other, even if we have never met.  If this is achieved, for the rest of the time we spend together they will be trying to figure out how we know each other.  The truth is that they will remember me next time and act like we are friends.  It is called having a hook.  This is as easy as reading a name tag and calling them by name, so people do this that it really works.  Recently I did this in an auto parts store and the guy continued to help me as other customers were lined up to the point where other employees helped them, I mean after all we were friends from…..somewhere.

These everyday skills are the same ones that will make your life easier in an emergency, but they require continuous honing and don’t cost you a thing.

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