• Hilary Bryan

The crisis and recovery cycle - where are we now?


I had another good read through this article over the weekend: Business recovery from disaster: A research update for practitioners by Elora Kay, Charlotte Brown, Tracy Hatton, Joanne R. Stevenson, Erica Seville and John Vargo (Resilient Organisations Ltd, New Zealand).


Sure, they're looking at earthquake recovery, but I think what they're saying is relevant to where we are now. And the model they use to understand the cycle we're likely to go through is the one attached.


We're heading down the curve

As you'll see, the first two stages are Heroic and Honeymoon. We're well over those two now and I reckon we're heading down the curve. And you'll see it's full of disappointment, anger, frustration, disputes, etc. First of all we need to recognise this and then work our way through it.


How?


Coach and listen

First of all recognise people may well be going down this curve and talk to them about how they're feeling. Reassure them it's OK and a normal reaction. But that doesn't mean what they're experiencing isn't real for them. Coaching conversations that allow them to vent and articulate where they're at are essential.


Remember SCARF

Secondly, have SCARF up your sleeve (or around your neck). Are people feeling a loss of status because of lockdown? Have they lost certainty? You can bet they have, but how important is it to them? Have they gained or lost autonomy? Have they lost the relatedness they got from work colleagues? And what do they see as not being fair?


Keep fairness top of mind

Whatever alert levels we move through, we'll increasingly see unfairnesses emerge and lead to anger and frustration. For individuals this may manifest itself in different remote working circumstances. How can you expect me to be as productive as MJ%^*? He hasn't got two kids under five to look after and a partner trying to work full-time as well. And for teams in the same organisation. Why have they given the J6&*3 team better equipment than us? They still expect us to deliver. And between sectors. Why is ki%4@ considered an essential service and we're not?


Focus on control and help rather than hindrance

We'll need the whole range of resilience tools to manage our thoughts and emotions and to help others do the same. Two favourites are: a) focus on what you can control and b) ask yourself - is this thinking helping or hindering me? If it's hindering - move on to thoughts and emotions that help.


Share the diagram

It helps people understand what they're experiencing. A bit like the Satir change curve, people can track themselves and develop greater self-awareness.



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