The long term consequences of this tumultuous time on individuals, organizations, and communities are not yet known. Negative experiences can spur positive change, but not always. The pandemic, systemic injustice and other traumas can give way to post-traumatic growth but not without attention and effort.
Harvard Business Review’s July-August magazine had two excellent articles on grieving and post-traumatic growth.
David Kessler’s article, Helping Your Team Heal, encourages leaders to recognize people’s grief and assist them in finding meaning. He suggests we think about three groups of people during the pandemic – the worried well, the affected, and the bereaved and find the right interventions for each of them.
Richard Tedeschi’s article, Growth After Trauma: Five Steps for Coming Out of a Crisis Stronger, provides practical steps towards achieving post-traumatic growth. He shares that post-traumatic growth can be facilitated through education, emotional regulation, disclosure, narrative development, and service. Benefits include personal strength, new possibilities, improved relationships and appreciation for life, and spiritual growth. I have certainly found that to be true in my own life.
As an organizational development consultant focused on transformational change, these are tools I will certainly utilize. I hope you do too.
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