Over the last few weeks we have watched a tale of two countries…
One Country had a city called New Orleans, hit by hurricane Katrina in 2005. We saw panic, looting, shooting and chaos all around.
One Country was Japan that was hit by a 9.1 Earthquake followed immediately by a 30+foot Tsunami traveling at speeds over 300 mph which washed away who cities and their populations, followed by a Nuclear facility which had 4 reactor failures. This country saw controlled fear, organized lines for assistance, people helping each other, and the absence of chaos in the midst of total disaster.
Why such a big difference?
The Japanese call it “Gaman.” Because it does not translate to English well it can be described as the display of calm forbearance and poise in the face of adverse circumstances beyond one’s control.
Through the years the Japanese have learned that a bit of patience and self-control can help anyone overcome challenges with greater success than panic, fear, and selfishness can. It allows you to think clearly, develop plan and get right to it.
Does your staff break into panic mode when something out of their control shows up on the scene? This is because of a lack of planning, training and practice. Without teaching your staff the skills to use the tools that you have provided for them, and their own personal abilities – how will they know how to draw on those?
I have seen the same thing happen to those looking for jobs. They get laid off or the business closes and they panic. They have not planned for the possibility. I have seen great people collapse as the result of a question during an interview. Panic set in. Research and plan. It will not prevent every possible problem, but you will be better prepared.
I remember when I was taking my first EMS class to become an EMT. How would I remember everything? There were so many moving parts. Just thinking about it had me all worked up. What if I forgot?
Then I remembered. High School. We all learned CPR my Junior Year in PhysEd.
My first experience with CPR was as a Sr in highschool. Our Principal was our head basketball coach and I was very close to him and his family. I was the official game scorer. Our game had just ended and we had beat a pretty strong team. Everyone was celebrating. I signed the score cards, and looked over toward the principal. He had dropped to the floor. Full blown heart attack. Without thinking I went over to him and started CPR. I just did it. No thinking.
Sadly, we lost him.
It became clear to me. That is why we trained and practiced so much. It needed to become part of us, so we did not have to think. It allowed us to become calm, to take control of the situation. All that training paid off over the years – It allowed me the privilege to deliver babies, to reverse heart attacks, and save many lives.
Your business needs to operate the same way. Teach, train, practice and you will never reach out for the panic button.
If you are searching for a job, these same tactics apply. Research, and practice are your friends. You will have the calm and control to find that job and success.
Everyone should learn how to have calm forbearance and poise in the face of adverse circumstances beyond one’s control.
© 2011; Wayne Eells, Jr.