Greg Nathan's Tip #24: Six Strategies to Face Life's Challenges

This week Greg offers tips on how to apply techniques used to help disaster victims to helping your franchisees in times of business struggle.

Six Strategies to Face Life's Challenges

I recently attended a special briefing for psychologists on how to help people affected by disaster. The lecture theatre was packed with over 300 people. Seven distinguished panelists faced us from the front, all researchers and practitioners in the field.

Over the next two hours these experts shared some amazing insights into helping people prepare for and recover from traumatic life events. Their recommendations could be applied to anyone facing significant business or personal loss.

How to build psychological resilience

One presenter who particularly impressed me was Professor Richard Bryant, a quietly spoken but impassioned researcher, who captivated us with stories of his work helping people around the world come to terms with disaster including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian Tsunami.

He shared six strategies for building psychological resilience, based on a significant body of research. These would also be useful to anyone in a franchise role. Here are Professor Bryant's six strategies:

1. Clarify the problem. Just helping someone clarify the problem and name their fears or concerns can be a huge benefit. For instance, you may feed this back to them, “It sounds like your biggest concern at the moment is … “

2. Support Problem Solving. One powerful technique is to identify what is and is not under a person's control. Then to explore solutions and break these down into manageable action steps.

3. Encourage positive activities. It is useful if people can get themselves into a productive routine doing small, meaningful, practical activities. This helps to improve mood and sense of control.

4. Promote helpful thinking. Our thoughts influence our moods so unhelpful thinking such as the “The whole situation is hopeless” should be changed and replaced with more realistic thoughts such as “Yes, there are specific problems which are frustrating,  but the whole situation is not hopeless.”

5. Encourage calm. Techniques to stay calm include slowing down, practicing some simple relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or writing out one's thoughts in a journal.

6. Engage with supportive social networks. Connecting with people or groups who care build our capacity to cope with life's challenges, and are a powerful antidote to feelings of discouragement and despair. This is the most important strategy of all.

The power of collegial support

I came away from this event feeling inspired and refreshed. It reminded me of the power of being in a room with like-minded colleagues and the value of having access to passionate experts who have useful information to share.

There is nothing like getting together with a group of high caliber colleagues to stay fresh, focused and motivated. And this is exactly what our Profitable Partnerships Boot Camps are all about. If this interests you, contact Katrina at SPEAK! for more information.

Until next time,

Greg Nathan
Franchise Relationships Institute

P.S. I'll be giving several free webinars this summer. I hope you can join us! Here are the details:

Using the Franchise E-Factor to Reduce the Costs of Conflict

Thursday June 16, 2011 at 2:30pm MDT

Improving the Effectiveness of Your Field Visits
Tuesday June 28, 2011 at 2:30pm MDT

10 Strategies to Drive a Healthy Franchise Culture
Tuesday July 26, 2011 at 2:30pm MDT

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