What hap­pens when dis­as­ter hits?

Jamaica Gleaner - - WELL -

WE ARE con­stantly at risk. Ma­jor dis­ap­point­ments are part of our re­al­ity. You stum­ble in your sphere of op­er­a­tion or in your per­sonal life. What hap­pens next?

Much has been writ­ten about suc­cess strate­gies, but less is shared about how to deal with dis­as­ter. Yet, dis­as­ter is a real pos­si­bil­ity.

Here is an ap­proach for deal­ing with dis­as­trous events.


A crit­i­cal fac­tor in deal­ing with dis­as­ter is to be pre­pared. Con­se­quently, risk anal­y­sis is now be­ing given pri­or­ity at­ten­tion in or­gan­i­sa­tions.

In all spheres of our lives, we should take time to re­flect on the pos­si­bil­ity that some­thing bad could oc­cur. This is not to be­come para­noid. This is not to dis­tract you from main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive out­look and en­vi­sion­ing a bright fu­ture.

The think­ing here is that you should sys­tem­at­i­cally re­view what could go wrong. Con­duct ‘what if’ anal­y­ses. The coach iden­ti­fies the things that could mess up an ath­lete’s race and drills cor­rec­tive mea­sures into their con­scious­ness.

You should pre­pare a list of things that could go wrong in your sit­u­a­tion. It might be un­com­fort­able, but it is nec­es­sary. Hav­ing made the list, your next step is to imag­ine that those things are hap­pen­ing for real. Painful as it might be, the more re­al­is­tic you make your men­tal imag­ing, the bet­ter for you.

In the first place, you will never want to have those ex­pe­ri­ences in real life. That gives you the mo­ti­va­tion to do ev­ery­thing to avoid them.

Sec­ond, you will be bet­ter able to an­a­lyse the dis­as­ter. What caused it? How did it un­fold? That gives you an in­sight into the kind of prepa­ra­tion that you need to put in place.

Third, con­fronting your fears gives you a psy­cho­log­i­cal ad­van­tage when deal­ing with the real prob­lems.

Take time to iden­tify your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and threats, and de­sign ways to over­come them.


There is a strong temp­ta­tion to look out­side of our­selves when dis­ap­point­ment comes. We seek to lay blame for the sit­u­a­tion on out­side el­e­ments.

The re­al­ity is that some things are of our do­ing. In the case of ‘acts of God’, those are a part of life. Be­ing hit by light­ning is not the Gov­ern­ment’s fault.

Blam­ing does lit­tle to help re­cov­ery from dis­ap­point­ing de­vel­op­ments. In fact, it dis­tracts you from tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.

Con­duct a fo­cused self and/or group ex­am­i­na­tion of the post-dis­as­ter state of af­fairs. Where are we now? What are our op­tions? What are our pri­or­i­ties? What re­sources are at our dis­posal?

Among the list of pri­or­i­ties should be con­crete ac­tion to limit the neg­a­tive ef­fects of the dis­as­ter. This usu­ally means that the first re­sponses need to come from the in­side. Clar­ity of thought and calm re­solve are es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents in re­cov­er­ing quickly from fall­out.


Look­ing in­side speaks to self­ex­am­i­na­tion and be­ing proac­tive. It does not pre­clude the need for co­op­er­a­tion with oth­ers.

One morn­ing at work in Ger­many, we learnt that some­thing bad had oc­curred. This had im­pli­ca­tions for the fu­ture of the com­pany. When our de­part­ment head ar­rived, her line of ques­tion­ing was aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing who was at fault. Hav­ing es­tab­lished that an­other de­part­ment was at fault, she took no fur­ther ac­tion.


It might be my imag­i­na­tion, but she ac­tu­ally seemed pleased. Some­one has just been dis­qual­i­fied for the next pro­mo­tion. That clears the way for me.

I won­der if we ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tent to which self­ish and com­pet­i­tive mo­tives frus­trate progress and swift re­cov­ery from dif­fi­cul­ties. As you read this, be aware that there are peo­ple who are revelling in the down­fall of oth­ers. That is why Abbey D’Agostino’s reach­ing out to fallen Nikki Ham­blin in the 5,000-me­tre race could well have been the hu­man in­ter­est story of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In­fight­ing can do more dam­age than your com­peti­tor’s best ef­forts.

A fi­nal thought: Peo­ple with strong faith nav­i­gate dis­as­ters bet­ter than oth­ers. Their faith pro­vides an X-fac­tor that gives them an edge.

Now en­rolling for the SHRM­cre­den­tialed “Cer­ti­fied Be­havioural Coach” pro­gram. Email: info@sw­pacademy.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.