Lesson 043: Assuaging fears of being alone
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 2/5 ('Loud As A Whisper')


An alien peace negotiator, who is deaf, communicates with others through telepaths who are also from his own race.

When his translators are killed during negotiations, the alien negotiator is panicked and rambles silently on feverishly in sign language, totally incoherent, not understood by anyone in the room.

Capt. Picard reacts quickly to the situation by facing the alien, grabbing hold of the alien's head with both hands and speaking directly in front of him to ensure the alien can see the Capt.'s face. With the alien eyes locked in to view the Capt's words mouthed, Capt. Picard says clearly and with determination 'You are not alone in this. We are all in this together now.'

By understanding the Captain's words, the alien calms down immediately.


In any catastrophic scenario, one of the worst possible situations is to be alone. It is undoubtedly un-nerving and just down right scary, to be the sole participant in a situation where disaster is imminent and everything is out of control. Believe it or not, this is a condition many face in every day work life.

The scene presented here may seem overly dramatic for an office situation to an outsider, however, any employee who has missed a deadline, caused a serious grievous error on a project, or lost a customer can quickly identify with the feeling of mortification and numbness that ensue in these situations. Panic and loss of coherency are the first to arrive. Without support from others the fear only worsens.

This is where management must charge forward like the cavalry, to rescue not just the employee, but also the situation.

Management must instill in the employee immediately that they are not alone in the event and that with the combined forces of management, they will resolve the situation, one way or another.

The rescue of the employee from their quagmire is exigent, especially important if the employee is the sole source of information about the situation.

There is always a great deal of comfort in knowing that we are not alone in a doom scenario, and that there are others willing to fight alongside us towards a resolution.

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