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If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone

The path that crises follow

The path that crises follow
  • Emergency: the team energy rises, teams instinctively pull together and performance goes up.
  • Regression: people get tired lose their sense of purpose and start fighting about the small stuff, because they face too much pressure.
  • Recovery: the team is directed to reopen, rebuild, and prepare for the future.

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If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone

If You Feel Like You’re Regressing, You’re Not Alone

https://hbr.org/2020/05/if-you-feel-like-youre-regressing-youre-not-alone

hbr.org

5

Key Ideas

The path that crises follow

  • Emergency: the team energy rises, teams instinctively pull together and performance goes up.
  • Regression: people get tired lose their sense of purpose and start fighting about the small stuff, because they face too much pressure.
  • Recovery: the team is directed to reopen, rebuild, and prepare for the future.

The regression phase is uncomfortable

Regression as a phenomenon comes from developmental psychology and relates to how people go back to a less mature stage when faced with pressure.

It is the most dangerous phase for teams, but it cannot be skipped.

Getting through the regression phrase

  • Identify how deep you and your team are into the regression phase.
  • Disrupt the team and create a new “day one.”
  • Learn how to adjust your team’s emotions. Maintain an environment where it is safe to be honest about their state of mind.
  • Aim beyond business as usual, prepare to face and anticipate the future in order to provide the most value.

Reorientation

It starts with changing the focus of your team from the short-term risks to your company’s bigger-picture contribution and longer-term opportunities. You change the question from, “How can we handle the crisis?” to, “How can we move out of the crisis?”

The reorientation process can lead your team’s attention towards the recovery phase.

Leaders during crises

A crisis can be both a moment of glory and and a moment of failure for a leader. The people they work with will remember their actions and decisions, positive or negative, for years to come.

So, as you lead through a crisis, remember that each phase requires a different approach.

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  • focus on the current matter.
  • become the trusted voice in this crisis. Designate a crisis team.
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  • get a deeper understanding of the scope of the issue and the vital decisions to be made.
  • prepare an initial 'holding statement' in order to make your opinion pubic. Make sure the statement goes viral fast.
  • document well before speaking publicly. 
  • show humanity, compassion, and concern for any human toll – and mean it. 

  • follow up on everything that you have engaged yourself to fulfill.

Don'ts for times of crisis

Dealing with a crisis increases the risk of taking bad decisions. When times get harder:

  • don't lie, minimize the situation or make jokes regarding the crisis.
  • don't run away from your responsibilities.
  • don't hurry to issue a denial unless you have all the facts.
  • make positive statements when talking about the matter, rather than negative ones.
  • don’t let your fears of liability trump your humanity.
  • don’t speculate until you fully understand the situation.