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Resilience in Turbulent Times

Many circumstances can send an organization into crisis. Whatever the reason, the one common theme is it is usually not expected, and there is not a clear plan to handle it. It is how the organization reacts during the crisis that will determine the outcome. The time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens.

The entire organization does not need to experience an emergency to be in crisis. One individual can affect an organization’s productivity. Common crises that employees report are transitions, unhappy in their position, personal problems, their skills do not match their position, or their values do align with the company.

How does one employee’s unhappiness, crisis or personal problem affect an entire organization? Crises, whether organizational or personal can Impact our ability to focus. During these times, mistakes are made, turnover increases and many times crises are often met with spontaneous decisions. When decisions are made quickly the results can be disastrous to an organization.

So how do we function in turbulent times? It’s during times of non-crisis that we need to strengthen our core so that when a crisis happens, we will be strong and steady and able to make clear decisions. We will have the ability to function and face day to day activities.

When we are functioning from a place of preparedness during a crisis, we are balanced, and mistakes are less likely to occur. Teams work well together; high performers take on challenges and individuals are more passionate about their work. We must focus on increasing our personal and team resilience.

How do we plan for a crisis? Whether it is individual or organizational the time to plan for it is now. Becky Sansbury, a colleague, and inspirational writer/speaker has a 4 principled plan. In her book, After the Shock: Getting you Back on the Road to Resilience When Crisis Hits You Head On, she sets a clear plan to help us build resilience and respond to a crisis. She presents 4 clear principals to build on comfort, control, community, and connection.

Sansbury suggests that organizations draft an action plan to respond to a crisis before it happens. This could include the mission statement. A solid statement that explains the WHY behind what we do creates a strong sense of connection and moves the organization through a crisis. During personal challenges, the same principals apply. Write down your plan, Sansbury encourages us to share that plan with a trusted friend or relative to help us carry out our plan effectively.

One certain thing, we will all face turbulent times whether personally or in the workplace. The key to surviving these times is resilience. The time to build resilience is now before the crisis happens.

Nanci Appleman-Vassil

Prior to establishing APLS Group in 2000, Nanci was a corporate training manager for R.H. Donnelley, the largest independent sales, marketing and publisher for the Yellow Pages industry. In this capacity, Nanci provided a full range of training and organization development services, including identifying, coaching and developing managers and other upper-tier employees to build a high-performance culture.

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