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Stepping Stone
Motivational Humorists
Anthrax Scare
Managing Trauma

Creatively Managing Trauma, Crisis and Conflict:

Using Humor and Team Interaction to
Strengthen Morale and Productivity
During Times of Trauma

This one hour to 1-day program is designed to help employees and managers cope with the anxiety and anger, uncertainty and unpredictability and the feelings of loss -- from loss of focus to loss of control -- that often surface during times of sudden trauma and sustained vigilance. This transition can be both a danger and an opportunity for individuals, teams, and departments within any organization. An effective management system must provide group structure and processes for safely expressing fears and frustrations and for engaging a group grief process for letting go of the status quo and embracing the new challenging reality.

OBJECTIVE:

By teaching key concepts, creative discussion and drawing exercises and encouraging dynamic role playing, employees and/or managers will have a chance to discuss the effects of traumatic stress, the process of change, the 'inevitable' conflicts that arise as a result of stress and change, and generating team cooperation. All of this is accomplished in a safe, non-threatening environment.

OUTLINE:

I. Obstacles to managing individual/organizational crisis, trauma and conflict can be overcome by

A. Recognizing the impact of a traumatic environment and organizational change.

B. Understanding how change and crisis creates stress and conflict.

C. Recognizing the dangers of individual and team isolation and burnout.

II. Tools and techniques for managing crisis and conflict:

A. Understanding the "4-F model" of loss and change.

B. Building a structure that allows members of the group to participate in time-limited, focused grief and change sessions.

C. Providing employee input on team decision-making and organizational direction.

III. Transforming trauma and chaos into team cooperation:

A. Helping employees and managers better understand each other's stress, as well as their changing roles and responsibilities.

B. Developing a team management plan in a rapidly changing and intense climate.

C. Transforming conflict into cooperation and consensus.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES:

I. Employees and/or managers will better understand each other's stresses and responsibilities and will have the skills and strategies for replacing exaggerated anxiety, exhaustion self-defeating conflict with improved communication structures, constructive dialog and coordinated action steps to enhance morale and productivity.

II. Participants will be more open to experimenting with new problem-solving structures, to embracing new people in the work unit, and to coping more effectively with personnel and procedural changes.