By Tanyah Williams, Washington State Patrol

fireworks
image from Pixabay.com

Stress and unexpected curveballs in our personal and professional lives were the norm of 2020 because of a pandemic with impacts not seen in similar proportions since the Spanish flu over a century ago. We all had to adapt to incredible changes last year, and it looks like they’ll continue throughout 2021.

January’s ICSEW meeting offered multiple presentations on how to take those challenges head on and be the best we can be. The following are some of the key takeaways from the sessions. Supporting documents are on our meeting minutes and materials page. A recording of the entire meeting can be viewed on our Facebook page on the ‘videos’ tab.

Survive, Revive and Thrive Ann Hiatt

Leadership consultant Ann Hiatt  gave a presentation on how Survive, Revive and Thrive professionally during and after a crisis. Three key points for any situation, according to Hiatt:

  1. Survive – The world is collectively in survival mode.  It’s difficult to make an informed decision and plan when no one knows where the finish line lies.  There are three things to help regain a sense of control during these very stressful and ambiguous early stages of adjustment.
  1. Get Clarity – It’s essential to understand the ways in which ways, deliverables and expectations have shifted.  You cannot assume previous job description or tasks have transference into this new situation.  Here are a few essential steps to get clarity.
    1. Set up meeting
    1. Build trust
    1. Don’t be afraid to manage up
  • Adapt– Without knowing when this will end it’s hard to budget our time, resources and energy accordingly leading to exhaustion.  Three things that help regain a sense of control are:
    • Accept that you cannot do it all
    • Remember Parato’s Principle – 80% or our results come from just 20% of our efforts.
    • Master the pivot
  • ResilienceSet a sustainable paceBe the sense maker and meaning finderPerform random acts of leadership
  • Revive – Eventually we will get out of survival mode and into the rhythm of the new normal.  Critical steps in the revive phrase are:
  1. AmbitionTake a look at your current role and set some goals beyond current responsibilitiesMake a goal list of ambitionsFocus on what give you hope for the future
  • TrustOut care everyoneBe  credible and reliableInvest in beneficial relationships
  • ReboundReorient yourself in a competitive environmentPredict and be proactiveOperationalize your dreams and vision
  • Thrive – Just a repeat of the cycles above even when times are more certain again.

Building Resilience to Manage Stress: Kari Uhlman, Employee Assistance Program

woman sitting in front of laptop chewing a pencil
image from Pixabay.com

Since the onset of the a pandemic, the Department of Enterprise Services Employee Assistance program has been hosting webinars on COIVD-19 stress-management and resiliency. For a complete list of upcoming webinars, or to listen to past webinars on demand, please visit https://des.wa.gov/services/hr-finance/washington-state-employee-assistance-program-eap/webinars

Key Points:

Building Resilience

Finding meaning – In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning.

Optimism

  • Identify what you have control over
  • Seek the positives
  • Reframe & replace negative thoughts

Self-awareness – Try the Strength Assessment at www.marcusbuckngham.com

  • Increase you understanding of your own unique identity
  • Identify tools and practices you can use to increase your self-awareness
  • Identify triggers & create a plan

Self-care – Can include clearing clutter, to taking care of self financially, to unfollowing friends on social media. 

Find the Self-Care Wheel at www.olgaphoenix.com

Support

  • Use the buddy system – check in with each other
  • Seek & utilize support systems

The EAP offers support in so many areas. It’s free to you and your family.  Locate EAP at www.eap.wa.gov or call at 877-313-4455 for a list of all their free resources.