In the Olympic news this past week there has been a focus on the US team swimmers and their alleged experience of robbery in Rio. While the details are still emerging much has been reported about the inconsistency of their stories and accounts of what happened, and to whom. Without wanting to make any judgment on veracity of their respective statements it is interesting as a phenomenon we experience when addressing crisis situations and debriefing in the Mandt System training events.

The staff involved in managing and responding to a crisis situation will often have different perspectives about what has happened, when and to whom based upon the different points and position from which they became involved. Others in the vicinity will also have a perspective and view that may be different again. Any first responders arriving will also make their own dynamic assessment of what is going on.

Understanding that these different and multiple perspectives are in play can greatly alter behavior at the crisis moment but also in the aftermath. This is why we strongly encourage staff to write up their incident reports quickly following events and independently of others involved. The events in Rio also demonstrate the role that CCTV has to play in aiding an understanding of the scenario. In particular if sound is recorded.

Whatever the ‘truth’ of events in Rio the reality of multiple perspectives on the same event is undeniable. As many folks as were involved directly or indirectly are as many perspectives as you will have to consider. In our case, our goal is to help staff learn so as to do a better job next time or consider a different approach. Fortunately rarely is it the case that review is to consider the prosecution of a crime.

Simon Kemp – CEO