Restoring Confidence in a Crisis Workshop


We held a hugely relevant and highly interesting workshop at one of our favourite venues, The Royal Opera house recently.

We held a hugely relevant and highly interesting workshop at one of our favourite venues, The Royal Opera house recently. The workshop was an interactive session, focusing on how to restore confidence in a crisis, through use of both verbal and non-verbal messages. Our facilitators, Stephanie Sarandy, Nicola Jacob And Mike Barkham took us through the physiological reasons for some of our communication styles and helped to give greater understanding of how we respond in times in stress. A short synopsis of the session is included, which we hope you’ll find as interesting as our attendees found on the evening.


Main points from the evening:

• The differentiator for those who succeed in downturns is Resilience. This is defined as the ‘skill and capability to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change’.
• Resilience has three threads: understanding the current reality; taking a sense of your core purpose with you in difficult scenarios; and innovating, freeing yourself up to do things differently.
• As leaders we may know this, but it is hard to do in times of stress, when we may ourselves deny or escalate the reality, not believe the words we are telling our teams and continue doing things the same old way.
• This stance, or state, is then projected onto your teams i.e. how you are has a direct effect on your organisation: if you are upbeat and positive, your teams will pick this up and vice versa. So in managing the current reality in this downturn, leaders need to be honest and pragmatic and tell it as it is.
• How you as a leader think about a situation will affect how you feel about it and this impacts your behaviour. This dynamic works three ways – behaviour affects our thinking which can in turn affect our feeling etc. What your teams hear and see (i.e. your impact) is the transmitted message from you – and may or may not be the message as a leader you want to transmit.
• Part of the reason for this powerful transmission of your state to others lies in neuroscience – our brains are wired up to respond to situations in a very specific way which is automatic and occurs in our subconscious i.e. beyond our conscious awareness.
• Put very simply: our conscious thinking occurs in our neo-cortex – the front of the brain, with rational logical thinking occurring in the left side and creative, image driven thinking in the right.
• Our limbic or emotional base of the brain lies behind the neo-cortex and it is here that our feelings are registered. The limbic normally links to the neo-cortex but under times of stress – just the limbic kicks in and we react purely from an emotional state: the flight or flight response. So you as leader are simply not able to think rationally when overly stressed. Beware!
• You will help your resilience and the authenticity of your leadership message if you speak from your core purpose. What is it, at a deep value or attitude level that keeps you going in your desire to succeed? Talking with this awareness adds hugely to both how you cope with the situation and the integrity and depth your teams pick up from you.
• Lastly, if you free yourself and others to be creative and innovative (using metaphor, images and story fires up the right brain), you can create your way through and out the other side of the downturn, with the possibility of getting to a better position. A good news outcome!

“We work with individuals and organisations to support resilience, leadership and effectiveness”

Mike Barkham - 07808 783291
Nichola Jacob - 07720 072105
Stephanie de Sarandy - 07958 121243

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