While the world’s media focuses on the shocking activities of Anders Behring Breivik and their effect on the people who died, those who escaped, their families and friends, little is being said about the people who were directly involved in responding to the incident and rebuilding the country’s reputation: paramedics, police, decision-makers and leaders including Norway’s prime minister Jens Stoltenberg and the King and Queen of Norway.
What has been said has been extremely critical – specifically of the time it took the Norwegian police to arrive on Utoya, the island where so many young people were killed. Anger is a natural response to bereavement and, in dramatic and unpredictable incidents such as this, it is expected. It is essential, therefore, to be prepared for it – and to cope with that anger while you are also facing a trauma (finding and dealing with the bodies as well supporting and rescuing the distressed people who survived).
The same is true of the paramedics who were called to the scene. Their job means they are constantly under stress – ready to race to someone whose life is at risk, applying knowledge accurately at speed, making quick judgements, giving life-saving advice and treatment. And they face traumas day in and day out as they deal with the sad and tragic outcomes of their work.
Police and paramedics receive intensive training that includes building their resilience so they are better able to cope with stress and trauma. But it is impossible to predict whether an incident will prove too much to cope with and, if a person does reach their coping capacity, when it will happen. Offering support to people in stressful or trauma-filled jobs will reduce the time they are absent from work, help them return to peak performance, and rebuild their resilience.
People who cannot face returning to work might also need help to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem so they can find other work or cope with a life without work.
In addition, some people might be able to cope with the effects of stress and trauma while at work – but find that it is affecting their personal relationships and self-esteem or causing anxiety, addictions, eating disorders. And that could, in turn, begin to have an impact on their performance at work.
As for the prime minister and the king and queen, all leadership roles involve dealing with stress. Making decisions that impact on others, responding to crises, ordering actions or inaction, taking the responsibility and the flak – all require resilience. And they need to make these difficult decisions while remaining outwardly calm and in control. People in positions of authority at the top of organisations also need to build resilience so they can manage their stress, spot stress in others and minimise its impact on the business by offering training or support.
Finally, it isn’t only people who are connected with a traumatic incident who can be affected by it. People not there at the time might identify with aspects of it – or feel more vulnerable as a result. It is important for businesses to be aware of the potential psychological effects on others – and to offer them support and resilience training.
If you or your staff need to manage stress and cope with trauma, or are under-performing or absent because of the effects of stress or trauma, do consider providing courses that build resilience or professional psychotherapeutic support to bring them back up to peak performance. We provide training, coaching, mentoring and counselling specifically geared to people at work who face stress and trauma – including EMDR which is recognised by NICE as particularly effective for treating trauma. Do get in touch.
29/07/2011 | Posted in Trauma, Stress, Resilience, Presenteeism, Performance, Leadership, Counselling, Confidence, Coaching, Absenteeism,
With employment news hitting the headlines again it is appropriate to reflect on how people are affected when their jobs are at risk or when relationships – usually between those in charge and those who work for them – break down.
- Today, the army has told 38 people their jobs will end in 12
months’ time – and it has done so by email. The army’s assistant general chief
of staff and the government have apologised for the unacceptable way in which
they broke the news to the long-serving soldiers.
- This week, the RAF announced that about 50 of its trainee
pilots could face redundancy and that it will not take any new students next
year, ending the careers of people whose hopes seemed built on strong
foundations, and disappointing others who had seen a positive future.
- Throughout this month, widespread media coverage has been
given to the fact that the future of our libraries is at risk, potentially
putting thousands of librarians out of work.
- And, again this month, the long-running dispute at British
Airways filled more column inches when its recent ballot was declared unlawful,
creating more uncertainties for cabin crew whose jobs are under threat.
These high profile cases have attracted sympathy from the public; there is a collective understanding of the disappointment, frustrations and irritations those affected must feel. But, for most people whose jobs are unsatisfactory or at risk, or whose relationships at work have deteriorated, there is no guarantee of understanding from anyone; their bosses, colleagues, family, friends might be too preoccupied by their own work or home lives to provide support.
At work, the highs and lows reverse: when morale dips and motivation wanes, production falls and absenteeism rises. Diffidence increases, tensions heighten, commitment slumps. Managers might not be equipped to manage these new situations or ask for help; respect for them dissipates; their achievements come under closer scrutiny – they, too, struggle to keep up the pace.
The private lives of the people whose jobs are at risk might also fall apart creating tensions, conflict, stress, a withdrawal from normal life and perhaps a drift into risky behaviour.
Professional advice – coaching, counselling, mentoring, mediation, training – can help individuals, individually or in teams, by building confidence, inspiring people, reducing conflict. It can also create a business shift – providing strategic advice on workplace policies, building skills for handling difficult situations or people, devising policies and practices that engender focus, build confidence, strengthen leadership and reshape the corporate culture
In all four examples highlighted above, professional support could create huge positive shifts for the people – and for the organisations – involved.
15/02/2011 | Posted in Training, Strategic advice, Productivity, Policy development, Performance, Morale, Mediation, Leadership, Counselling, Conflict, Confidence, Commitment, Coaching, Absenteeism,
30/12/2010 | Posted in Success, Performance,
We also provide Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), Counselling, Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional freedom technique (EFT), Existential counselling, Gestalt therapy, Humanistic psychotherapy, Hypno-birthing, Hypnotherapy, Integrative counselling, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Person-centred counselling, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytical therapy, Psychodynamic therapy and Sensorimotor psychotherapy services.Read more
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