We’ve talked a lot on this show about what to do in challenging situations. Today, what to do when the worst happens.
Guest: Andrew Stenhouse, Ed.D.
Dean, School for Graduate and Professional Studies
Vanguard University of Southern California
Loss is pervasive and we don’t often recognize how much we’re dealing with loss at the time.
Three broad categories of emotions tend to show up for people during a time of workplace loss:
We don’t know the loss will affect us personally
We don’t know how we are going to react to the loss
These fears can surprise us and cause even more anxiety
We can be angry at the person who we lost
We need to be able to express our anger in some way
Anger sometimes feels good because it provides some illusion of control
Anger tends to yield to sadness
Guilt is the feeling that we could or should have done something
We can sometimes feel guilt that we are not in as much pain as we think we should be
What leaders can do after a loss:
Don’t put parameters on how people are supposed to deal with loss
However, provide stability and structure for people
Create and lead forums for conversation
The performance aspects of the job can help stabilize and reduce stress
Leaders should facilitate the conversation about the loss, rather than just allowing it (or hoping for it) to happen on its own
Bring in someone else to help when you see physical signs of loss
“You’re always on one side or the other of a loss. You’re either approaching one or getting over one.” -Andrew Stenhouse
What’s one thing you could do now to ready your organization for loss?
On this topic: http://coachingforleaders.com/142
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