In this week’s episode we see Olivia floundering: the fixer needs fixing. This woman, who manages to pull others out of the fire, resolves their issues in the case of her staff rehabilitating them, appears to be lost. Of course she is dealing with highly emotional problems and violations of trust from the people closest to her. The thought that her friend Cyrus, for all his faults, might be plotting to kill her; the inconsistent behavior of the President and the betrayal of her new lover who has been spying on her for his friend, the President, justifiably has her disoriented.
Often, in the cases I have dealt with, the emotional price for the client can be high. He or she can become shell-shocked and unable to make the best and sometimes hard decisions. Besides dealing with the media and mapping out a strategy going forth I sometimes become the client’s confidant. They often need someone to talk to who is not a part of their crisis. Who is there for Olivia? Her staff but they are used to following her lead. Olivia is used to handling crises by herself. The nature of her business is not to be open but to be guarded. You have to be somewhat distant from the emotional nature of the problem in order to provide a rational strategy.
For a person like Olivia it’s difficult to reach out for help from others and so here she struggles swaying to and fro between what she should do and what she wants to do. It is important to have a personal base of support as I have stated in previous blogs but what if that base proves to be faulty? That is a difficult question. You need then to seek outside assistance which in a crisis is usually where I enter the picture. What you need to remember is that sometimes you cannot resolve a problem by yourself, no matter how good you are. I look forward to seeing how Olivia does.
Judy A. Smith is the founder and President of Smith and Company, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles as well as a Co-Executive Producer of ABC's Scandal. You can follow her on Twitter (@JudySmith_) or "Like" her on Facebook, and you can get more information about managing personal and professional crisis situations by visiting her site, judysmith.com.