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The Other Way to Handle Disaster

A year ago it would have been unimaginable that we would be dealing with a pandemic that has killed thousands of people and brought many organizations to their knees. This will likely change the way that we do business, not just for the foreseeable future, but forever. My husband, an information security specialist, often comments on the regularity of cyberattacks and the anxiety that that creates. But there is another level of anxiety in this situation that badly needs attention, and that is the anxiety that we all face as the world that we knew crumbles before our eyes.

By Thomi Glover

Thomi is an Executive Coach, Leadership and Organizational Development Consultant and facilitator of custom processes that build effective teams, enhance leadership and develop emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence

Unlike the other consultants of TMC, I specialize in emotional intelligence and the people part of organizational effectiveness. Emotional Intelligence has many definitions but for our purposes it is “self-awareness, self-management and relationship effectiveness.” One of the key challenges we see everywhere at the moment is people struggling to understand what this pandemic and its accompanying change is doing to their lives, to their futures, to their organizations, and to our country. Undoubtedly it is a scary time, but it is also a time of opportunity.

Pandemonium Does Not Have to be Scary

When the world is turned upside down, the usual response is to go into some kind of free-fall accompanied by fear, anxiety and possibly panic. As a number of leaders have said, there hasn’t been a crisis like this since World War II, which some of us may remember, but for the new generation of professionals is likely not a memory, just history. In times of radical change or upheaval, most people react in the same way: disbelief, anger and fear. There is another way.

Growth Comes from Understanding Yourself

The first step is to learn about your own personal reactions to fear and anxiety. We each react to these things differently, and based on our own personality patterns and preferences we can create ways to stabilize, and even get creative. This kind of emotional intelligence can help us understand habitual thinking and behavioural patterns, and discover ways to move on from events that once caused us to react negatively. By learning about yourself, you can deliberately do things that will lower your anxiety and raise your creative thinking processes, both for yourself and for your business. In times like these we all need to develop self-sustaining and organizationally supportive practices.

Taking Care of Your Health

Another thing to monitor is personal health, especially the immune system. From the field of psychoneuroimmunology we know that one of the primary things that we can do to support our immune systems is take care of our mental/spiritual health. Taking time to partake in activities that bring satisfaction and delight can make a noticeable difference in creativity and stress levels, and organizational effectiveness.

Most importantly, be intentional with your time and what you invest your energy in, because this storm that we are all weathering is not ending any time soon.

This article was published in the April 2020 edition of The TMC Advisor
- ISSN 2369-663X Volume:7 Issue:3

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