Community Tragedies & Resiliency

Northern Nevada has been struck with two terrible community tragedies in just the last 10 days. First, we had a random shooting in a local IHop coffee shop killing four people including three National Guard members in uniform. Many others were injured – all who just stopped by for a quick breakfast on a Tuesday morning after the Labor Day holiday. Now tonight we are hearing of multiple deaths out at the Reno Air Races from an aircraft which careened out-of-control into the public viewing stands.

The impact of these events is huge. Not only for the friends and families of the people killed and injured but for the community as a whole. Nevada has had a very difficult time with our high unemployment, high foreclosure rate and an endless stream of bad news for an economic recovery. But that’s when we rediscover resiliency . . .

Tahoe Gal BoatResiliency is Hope

One of my favorite workshops topics is about resiliency – what it is and how to keep it. Resiliency is all about hope. Resilient people intuitively believe in these three things.

First, that the situation is temporary – resilient people see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Second, they have some control over their own response to the situation. Resilient people tell themselves, and others, that we will make it through this difficult time.

Third, that they are not personally responsible for the situation occurring. They didn’t cause it. They are not to blame for it. It’s bigger than them.

How We Learn Resilience

I often ask people in my workshops this question “How did you learn to be resilient?” Often, they say they learned by just watching someone else. It was usually someone older in their family or in their community as they were growing up. Children watch and learn from those older than them – an important reminder as we are raising and mentoring younger people.

The same is true in our professional lives. And as I watch the community leaders on TV tonight, I’m looking for them to demonstrate the qualities of resiliency – that yes, this too will past and that we will handle it well. That is leadership at its best.

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