Most HR Professionals across the Globe are having daily conversations on how to get their teams back to the empty offices across the planet. Asking questions like: Should we be considering a Hybrid Model of how ‘Work will look’ after we are through the pandemic? Can we even make people come back to work, if they are not feeling safe to do so? Will every day become ‘casual Friday’? Should we require folks to wear pants with waistbands? (kidding) I’m never wearing them again.
But seriously, what the experts are telling us, is we don’t even know the PTSD that will be effecting our staff once we are ‘free’ to gather. What I can tell you from my experience working with dozens of corporations over the past year is we humans have been re-cycling through the first 3 stages of the Change Cycle and keep repeating the same emotional roller coaster in our bodies, thus the stress and anxiety most folks finding themselves experiencing.
Loss to Safety:
You arrive in Stage 1, Loss because something has become different. Maybe something is lost –a job, a relationship, an opportunity. Maybe something is new –a boss, a project, a diagnosis. The primary experience of Stage 1 is loss of control. And either consciously or non-consciously, your thoughts are cautious; you experience feelings of fear, or maybe worry or concern. Your behavior becomes paralyzed. Even a perceived “good” change, can evoke these responses.
This first stage can be a difficult, because like driving in fog, you don’t know what is ahead, but for your own safety, you must keep moving. It is important to acknowledge, not ignore or deny, your losses and concerns. Your priority in Stage 1 is to find personal safety –to regain some sense of control.
- Doubt to Reality: Stage 2 finds you experiencing doubt and a sense of uncertainty. Doubt is the brain’s way of slowing you down, even stopping you from taking action, until more relevant information is gathered.
This doubt often creates defensive behavior as a way of maintaining control. This creates feelings of resentment, thoughts that are skeptical and behavior that is resistant. Unfortunately, many people just get angry, blame others and are willing to fight to prove that “their way” or the “old way” is still better. Stage 2 can cause you to ignore the obvious and only see the picture your way.
- Discomfort to Motivation: In Stage 3, Discomfort, you know what’s going on, yet you are stuck while the brain works to organize, categorize and put language on your change experience. This leads to feelings of anxiety, thoughts that are confused, and behavior that is unproductive. It is easy to become overwhelmed. It is difficult to get things done and lethargy often rules.
To move through Stage 3, you need to focus on the present and be deliberate about motivating yourself to take the next best action steps. If you don’t, you risk having your anxiety turn to fear, which is the experience of The Danger Zone. This sends you back to Stage 1 to start again. Avoid it if you can and double down on leaning into the mirror.
What I have found by interviewing my clients, is the Trifecta of Mental Health that keeps us from leaning in to the discomfort we are all experiencing is, Self-Doubt, Self-Sabotage and Self Shutdown. It is affecting so many of us this year as we try and navigate (or avoid) ourselves and our own growth. We have just launched “The Resilient Organization” And you may be interested in some of the short, accessible and very affordable modules. And if you want your team to do this together, we have great group rates to share in the conversation.
Check it out here: https://www.lindaedgecombe.com/resilient-org
If you and your team needs a BOOST, send me a note and lets chat about that.
Or call me: 250-717-6079
Here’s to Health, Wellness and Prosperity in 2021 and Beyond.
For more details on the Change Cycle, check out this amazing website on Change: changecycle.com/change-cycle