The road map to success

first_imgThe road map to successOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Training specialists need to adopt a consultancy approach if they are toprove their worth. Here we introduce the first three of six key skillsImagine the following scenario. Opencall Communications is a UK mobile phonecompany. It has grown rapidly due to a new agreement with another networkallowing it to slash its prices, and its market share has grown to 12% thisyear, which is equivalent to more than 3 million customers. However, a recent training scheme for a new computerised information manualfor customer services personnel has failed. The HR and training department wasbrought in at the implementation stage, but was not involved in the planning.It was left out of the loop because many line managers see the department asbeing out of touch with the needs of the managers, while others see it as anobstacle or a necessary evil. As a result of this, the HR and training department is not being included inbusiness decisions. Initiatives fail due to lack of confidence in the function.Performance management and training also suffer. To succeed, HR and training needs to be pro-active and focussed on businessissues and to act as a facilitator. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Part of the problem stemsfrom the change of focus for HR. Historically, HR managed training andperformance almost exclusively, but this is now the domain of the line manager.The difficulty is that line managers are not equipped to manage training andperformance. The result is bad practice, which creates problems that HR has toclean up – damaging the reputation of the function by association. ScoutingThis preliminary stage of consultancy is one of the most important,especially when applied to a training situation. Scouting is where the HRprofessional pro-actively analyses the business’s outputs and identifies areasthat could benefit from change. Coming to the line manger with areas that couldbe improved is beneficial in three ways: – Exploring training issues from a business angle is invaluable – linkingtraining objectives to business performance indicators has been shown todramatically improve employee success. – The HR professional is seen to be in touch with the business and anefficient problem-solver. – You can direct the process, maximising the success of the HR solution. Entry and contractingThis stage is the first contact with the client. The goal is to find outexactly what is going on. Following a structured procedure at this stage willvastly increase the chances of finding workable solutions, quickly. At SHL, werecommend using an interrogation model, such as the SOLVE model (below) to makesure you get all the right information and the commitment of your client. Themodel guides you through several stages at which different questions are asked.Situational questions are questions about how things are now. Use these toadd to your knowledge of the problem. For example, how many of your staff havehad refresher courses in the past year? Obstacle questions are negative questions that probe the problems with theexisting situation, known as the implied needs. This is the beginning of seeingthe problem as the client sees it. For example, are any employee groups lesseffective than you’d like? Linking questions focus on the consequences of the implied needs, makingthem tangible by giving them grounding in concrete business objectives. Forexample, has the training deficit resulted in the loss of clients? Value questions are questions you pose to tease out the value of thesolution to the problems you’ve identified. In this way, you increase theattractiveness of the solution and the client’s ability to express theirexplicit needs. For example, how much would you save? Evaluation focuses on success and helps the client identify what would itwould look like. For example, what are the key measures of success? After going through the SOLVE process you should have successfully identifiedthe client’s expectations. Don’t forget, that it’s vital that you set out whatyou will deliver and achieve on their behalf. DiagnosisThis is where all the information gathered in the preliminary stages is interpreted.The client has already stated what the need is – it is now up to the HRprofessional to translate it into discrete problems that can be solved. You cansplit this translation process up into two stages; the first stage isprioritisation, the second stage is the real diagnosis. Stage 1: The two-by-two model This model looks at the most important needs and classifies them accordingto degree of changeability and current success. This is one way to help aclient to focus on those things that can be altered to solve their problem (seebelow). Stage 2: The diagnostic window tool This tool gets the client to think about which factors contribute to theproblem and then prioritise each one effectively. It categorises these in terms of ease of change and importance. – Note the business challenge that has been identified – List related issues – Categorise according to what is going well – Check what can be realistically changed (this may require discussion withother people or organisations). Remember to keep things simple and that the tool is intended as a guideonly. Focus only on those things that contribute to meeting the business challengeand question whether the issue on the chart relate to the business challenge athand. Start with the assignments that are important and easy to change – quadrant1 in the diagram above. Success in this area will help build up trust andconfidence between you, the line manager and the employees. For example,selecting the right training programme. Quadrant 2 represents those tasks that are important, but harder to change.You will earn the respect of the line manager by achieving these targets. Forexample, re-training experienced employees to a new system. Do not to fall into the trap of tackling those issues that are both easilyresolved and not important. These are known as temptations (Quadrant 3). Forexample, booking training rooms. The final category is labelled ‘tolerables’ – targets falling into quadrant4 – which consist of those things that are unimportant and hard to change. This kind of assignment is often resource intensive, usually has poorresults and is best avoided. For example, trainers’ name badges. You now have a road map for the first of the next three stages of theconsulting process. Put the skills to useTry this scenario.Scouting: After looking at the quarterly customer service report younotice that the number of complaints has risen by 25% and that call waiting hasalso increased. Why? – Not enough staff– Staff not experienced enough– New information system is causing problems for the staff– Staff are de-motivated by rude customers upset about havingto wait so longEntry and Contracting: You approach management about the level of complaints– Situation Questions – How many more complaints were therethis time?– Obstacle Questions – What is stopping the calls beinganswered?– Linking Questions – Have these missed calls resulted in lostcustomers?– Value Questions – How much revenue would we save by answeringthose calls?– Evaluation Questions – To what level should we reduce thenumber of missed calls?Diagnosis:When things are going well recruitment is changeable whilesalaries are unchangeable. When things are not going well, the number ofcomplaints is changeable, but the number of telephone lines is unchangeable.Chosen need – Reduce number of complaints: Contributing factors– Training on technical information– More expert staff– Volume of calls– More voicemail optionsThis article provides an overview of the first part of the SHLconsultancy course. The course itself offers an in-depth, hands-on approach toconsultancy skills training. Next issue: the final three skills ofplanning and negotiating interventions, taking action and evaluationFor more information on thecourse, please contact the SHL Client Support Centre on 0870 0708000, Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Trump: NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem ‘shouldn’t be in the country’

first_img Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailWin McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — NFL players should “stand proudly” during the national anthem, President Donald Trump said after praising the league’s new rule banning players from kneeling on the field during the song.Trump criticized the league’s players who might challenge the rule and continue to kneel in protest, suggesting “maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”“I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms,” Trump said in an interview with Fox and Friends Thursday morning. “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem.”This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. May 24, 2018 /Sports News – National Trump: NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem ‘shouldn’t be in the country’center_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

15 justice semifinalists remain

first_imgapplicants-kincaid-interview-15col.jpgBoone Superior Court 1 Judge Matthew C. Kincaid shakes hands with Judicial Nominating Commission member Lynette Long during his interview session Feb. 18. Kincaid is among 15 applicants who will be interviewed again next month.(Photo courtesy Indiana Courts)Judge Matthew C. Kincaid, the son of a long-serving Boone County judge, said his desire to enter the legal profession was informed by discussions around the home in his youth about matters that came before the court. “I was just always instilled with a respect for lawyers and a respect for the law that made it a natural conclusion for me to study law,” he said.With 13 years’ experience on the bench after private practice, he said the time to apply was right. “I’m not too old, and I’m not too young,” he said.Judge Steven R. Nation said he’s always tried to build consensus and treat those who appear before him with respect. He said he also has administrative experience that would benefit the court. “When people are there in front of the court, they must feel you are fair and listen to them and give them an opportunity to speak,” he said.He said it’s as important that people in towns such as Cicero and Atlanta have access to the same level of public services as people in Carmel or Fishers.applicants-rusthoven-interview-15col.jpgBarnes & Thornburgh LLP partner Peter Rusthoven, center, sits in the interview chair before the commission on Feb. 17. Rusthoven is among 15 applicants who will be interviewed again next month. (Photo courtesy Indiana Courts)Peter J. Rusthoven was asked whether his extensive high-profile experience in federal court and in the administration of President Ronald Reagan might make appointment to the Supreme Court less of an achievement. “I don’t view this as being stuck at the state level, I view this as being where I want to be,” Rusthoven said.“Working at the state level on this court would be more rewarding for me.” He also said his administrative experience would be useful on the court.Geoffrey G. Slaughter told the commission his work as president of the Indiana Bar Foundation has illuminated the need to extend civil representation and legal assistance to unrepresented litigants and those in need.applicants-rush-during-interviews-1col.jpgChairing the Judicial Nominating Commission, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush reviews an application as she interviews a candidate seeking to replace retiring Justice Brent Dickson. (Photo courtesy Indiana Courts)“I bring the practitioner’s perspective,” he said. “I like to think I would bring to the court experience in some substantive areas of law in which I’ve had some relevant experience, mostly in the business realm,” he said.Rep. Thomas W. Washburne was asked about his unique credentials as a state representative and corporate counsel. “I think being in the General Assembly is an interesting experience for a lawyer because you find yourself being a lawyer to a lot of people,” he said. “When you’re an in-house lawyer, you’re dealing first hand with the impacts decisions have on people.”He would hope people would say of his service that he was “fair, honest, well-reasoned, and cared deeply about the country.”Thomas E. Wheeler II stressed his 30 years as a trial lawyer and his connections with the Legislature and current and former governors. The former chairman of the Indiana Election Commission, whose decision that stripped the office from former Secretary of State Charlie White was affirmed by the high court, noted the political nature of the case.He said the bipartisan committee handled the case collegially. “We were able to work together, and that’s what needed to happen,” Wheeler said.•FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailShare Dave Stafford for www.theindianalawyer.comNine judges, four lawyers in private practice, a state lawmaker and a state attorney are semifinalists to replace Justice Brent Dickson on the Indiana Supreme Court. Thirteen men and two women from every region in the state will return for a second round of interviews next month.The Judicial Nominating Commission selected 15 people as semifinalists from a field of 29 applicants on Feb. 19 after three days of interviews. They are:• Judge James R. Ahler, Jasper Superior Court, Rensselaer• Judge Vicki L. Carmichael, Clark Circuit Court 4, New Albany• Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond• Judge Darrin M. Dolehanty, Wayne Superior Court 3, Richmond• Judge Thomas J. Felts, Allen Circuit Court, Fort Wayne• Thomas M. Fisher, Indiana solicitor general, Indianapolis• Judge Frances C. Gull, Allen Superior Court, Fort Wayne• Judge Steven L. Hostetler, St. Joseph Superior Court, South Bend• Judge Matthew C. Kincaid, Boone Superior Court 1, Lebanon• Mark A. Lienhoop; Newby Lewis Kaminski & Jones LLP, LaPorte• Judge Steven R. Nation, Hamilton Superior Court 1, Noblesville• Peter J. Rusthoven, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis• Geoffrey G. Slaughter, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Indianapolis• Rep. Thomas W. Washburne, Old National Bancorp, Evansville• Thomas E. Wheeler II, Frost Brown Todd LLC, IndianapolisDickson, Indiana’s second-longest-serving justice on record, will retire April 29.Here are highlights from the semifinalists’ interviews.Judge James R. Ahler said his work on the Public Defender Commission gave him insight into the needs of indigent clients and said the state should examine options to the current county-by-county system that’s been under assault by lawsuits filed around the state.Ahler highlighted his mix of experience – more than eight years as a trial court judge hearing a variety of cases preceded by a diverse practice with an emphasis on business law, and clerking for two judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. “I think I understand courts, and I understand lawyers and judges from big cities down to our smallest of counties.”Judge Vicki L. Carmichael until recently oversaw the busiest court in the state based on weighted caseload, Chief Justice Loretta Rush noted. Carmichael said the courts have a role to play in examining the allocation of resources, from public defender services to possibly sharing magistrates and judicial officers on a regional basis.applicants-15box.gifCarmichael also said she would focus on the needs of children and families. “The guardian ad litem/CASA program is very near and dear to my heart,” she said.Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry thought he would continue his role as a federal magistrate judge for the rest of his life, but he said he considers the opportunity to be appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court a grand way to expand his more than 27 years on the state and federal bench. “I think it’s the right thing for my career at this point,” he said.The DeKalb County native said he would bring a “deep well of experience” not just from his years on the bench but also as a private practitioner and prosecutor before that.Judge Darrin M. Dolehanty’s work advocating for representation for juvenile offenders was praised by Rush, but he said it was she who deserved credit for making it happen. “The long and short of it is, it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “This makes perfect sense.”Dolehanty said he’s grateful to serve on a strategic planning committee for the court. Asked about the most important attribute in a justice, he said patience. “With patience, all the other issues can be resolved,” he said.Judge Thomas J. Felts said the mentorship of a judge early in his career taught him lessons that he now tries to impart to young attorneys and judges, and he stressed his connections in the Legislature as an asset he would bring to the court.Felts said he believed lawyers would step up to fill the pro bono needs of unrepresented litigants, but noted there may be a time in the future when the court may have to take steps to encourage more volunteer legal assistance. “You never say never,” he said.Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher is a familiar face arguing cases for the state before appellate courts, and Rush commended the quality of his advocacy. Fisher said he would welcome the ability to read both sides of a case and apply the law. “It’s a much better way for me to think about the law.”Having argued before the U.S. Supreme Court three times in state cases, Fisher was asked how he prepares. “I cloister myself in the office, lock the door and ignore phone calls,” he said. “It’s a very intense process.”Judge Frances C. Gull was recognized by Rush as a statewide leader in judicial reform and problem-solving courts. Given the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court, Gull said she would hope to build on those efforts. She said she would work toward “making sure every citizen in state of Indiana has access to problem-solving courts” such as drug and veteran courts.She also said public defenders are underpaid and she would reach out to law school students to get them interested in pro bono and public service work.Judge Steven L. Hostetler said his nearly three years on the bench preceded by 15 years as a practicing lawyer representing businesses working through insolvency and bankruptcy give him a unique perspective that includes agricultural issues and “all kinds of economic issues facing businesses in our state.”Hostetler enjoys mentoring young lawyers and new lawyers and said “it’s very important we do that – more mature lawyers try to mentor young lawyers, especially those trying to get out and hang a shingle.”last_img read more

3 Pre-Teen Ocean City Skateboarders get Sponsorships Deals

first_imgConstantine Beseris catches some serious air at the Cape May County Skate Park in OCNJ. By Tim KellyOK, so they’re not exactly professional skateboarders. Not yet, anyway.But 10-year-old Sophie Whelan, and brothers Constantine, 11, and Charlie Beseris, 7, seem to be well on their way.All three youngsters, Ocean City residents and fixtures at the Cape May County Skate Park on Asbury Avenue, have been sponsored by the Downbeach Skate Company in Ventnor. Additionally, the Beseris boys have been named to the skate team of Heritage Surf and Sport shops.Sophie Whelan doing her now patented handstand.Constantine, a student at Ocean City Intermediate School, summed up the trio’s emotions upon learning their skateboarding passion would result in free gear — and in the Beseris boys’ case, membership on a “travel” skate team — “It felt like Christmas! I was so excited. Like when you can’t wait to open your presents.”Sophie, one of the few girls to be seen shredding on an almost daily basis at the park, has been skating since she was four and is also a gymnast. She will frequently do a handstand on her board and show off her athleticism.“I like dropping in the big bowl and trying new things, and also old-school moves,” she said. One such signature move Sophie likes to display is the “Bert Slide” so-named after Southern California skate legend Larry Bertleman.Sophie doing a Bunny Hop in the bowl in Ocean City.For the Beseris lads, having fun is the key to success. “I like to have more fun today than I had yesterday,” said Charlie, who is going into third grade at Ocean City Primary School.  “The more fun you have, the better you skate.”7 year old Charlie Beseris showing how it is done.Downbeach Skate Co. (visit their website at provided the young prodigies with boards, sweatshirts, stickers and other tools and goodies of the trade, which the skaters display as they compete or just work on their moves at Ocean City’s park and other venues.Sophie’s mom Michelle says her daughter, a fifth-grader, “has always been a gifted athlete,” and the gender aspect is not such a big deal. “As far as her skating so well and being a girl, it’s really a natural thing.  She is a good skater, not a good skater for a girl.”  Her dad is Greg Whelan.Constantine lighting up a bowl on a road trip.A few weeks after Downbeach tabbed the trio, Heritage Surf and Sport called and invited Constantine and Charlie to be a part of their skate team. That meant more free stuff and also the opportunity to skate in competitions throughout the region on a squad that includes youthful skaters, young adults and a 28-year-old veteran.The boys’ father, Steve Beseris, said their sponsorship was exciting, and more: “It’s great for them. It’s positive reinforcement for the effort they put into something they really enjoy.”Charlie Beseris shredding.He said the selection to the Heritage squad was particularly gratifying for him and the boys’ mom, MaryBeth McKenna, because “those selections were made not just for skating skill but because they are (quality individuals). It is quite a compliment.”Visit Heritage at – Sophie’s dog who is named after the famous Zephyr Skate Team.last_img read more

Bread is excluded from EU’s Nominal Quantities

first_imgA EUROPEAN Commission committee has voted to allow bread and other staples to be excluded from the EU Nominal Quantities Directive.The EU Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted in favour of amending the draft directive on December 12. This directive currently states there should be no set weights for products. The move is hailed as a “vital and important first step” towards allowing the UK to retain its system of selling bread in prescribed quantities by the Federation of Bakers (FoB). It wants bread to be exempt from the Directive, to prevent consumers being confused over the comparative prices of loaves. Currently bread above 300g in weight has to be sold in set weights – 400g, 800g and 1,200g. But new bread weights, such as 500g, 600g or 1,000g, could also be added in the UK.FoB director Gordon Polson commented: “The vote in favour of exemptions for staple products was a vital and important first step. There is support across Europe for exemptions for products, including butter, milk and pasta.”The issue will now go forward to the European Parliament for debate, with a vote expected to take place in January or February. The issue is then likely to be decided in a conciliation process between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers. It could take a year to 18 months to resolve. Mr Polson said: “It is difficult to predict how long it will take to resolve. The problem is the European Council is against exemptions.”NA chief executive David Smith said if weights were deregulated, bakers would still have to declare each loaf’s weight to conform with labelling regulations. That would complicate procedures. “There are people in our sector who say we can cope with total deregulation, but I think we are better keeping the status quo,” he said.last_img read more

Spring Conference call

first_imgBaking industry giants are to share their professional experience with delegates at the British Society of Baking’s Golden Jubilee Spring Conference, at Food & Bake 2006 on March 20-21. On the Monday, Sir Michael Darrington, MD of Greggs, will speak at the Conference, as well as Tony Reed, category director for bakery of Tesco, and Brian Robinson, chief executive of Allied Bakeries. Sir Michael Darrington has been at the helm of Greggs for 23 years, during which time the Newcastle-based bakery firm has become the third biggest seller of sandwiches in the country with sales of bread and rolls reduced to just 9% of annual turnover. Sir Michael will give an insight into how Greggs continues to be successful through its people.As category director for bakery of Tesco, Tony Reed controls bakery in 1,800 stores in the UK. He first joined Tesco 28 years ago on his 15th birthday as a trolley boy and worked his way up to become a director. Brian Robinson, new chief executive of Allied Bakeries, will compare the progress of the Australian baking industry with that of the UK. These speakers will be joined by Professor Christiani Jeya Henry, head of food science and human nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, and Royal Society visiting professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A board member of the UK Food Standards Agency, Professor Henry will be sharing his thoughts on the glycaemic index and the opportunities and challenges for the food industry.Tuesday’s line-upOn the Tuesday of the conference, speakers include craft baker Chris Freeman, organiser of National Doughnut Week; Trevor Mooney, joint MD of Chatwins in Nantwich; John Slattery of Slattery’s in Manchester; Alan Stuart from Dubbie Bakery, Fife; and John Waterfield of Waterfields. Overseeing the proceedings will be Paul Heygate, MD of the Heygate Group and chairman of the Flour Advisory Bureau, and Paul Morrow, MD of British Bakels.A Gala Evening Dinner will be held on Monday March 20 in the Gallery Suite – a chance to network and enjoy the company of colleagues. Entertainment will be provided by the popular author Gervase Phinn. Tickets include a five-course dinner and wine and cost £60 per person and for non-members £79 per day. For more information and to book tickets, visit or call the BSB on 0161 427 1772.last_img read more

International activity

first_imgThree German/Austrian bakery companies are expected to be combined to form the third-largest company in the markets, run by the well-known German baker and entrepreneur Heiner Kamps (pictured).The three German/Austrian bakers, Mueller, Anker and Lowenbrot, are expected to be bought by a specially-formed company, IFR Capital.IFR is scheduled to be floated on the Alternative Investment stock market in the UK to raise E125m, with E100m to be used to buy the three bakers. The acquisitions are dependent on the flotation being successful.The move would see Kamps, known as Germany’s Richard Branson, return to the bakery sector four years after his Kamps chain was sold to Barilla for E1.8bn, including liabilities of E800m.In 1998 when the Kamps business was floated it claimed to be Europe’s largest baker with 2,000 shops and revenue of E1.7bn.IFR is owned jointly by ACP Capital, a Jersey-based investment and fund manager listed on AIM, and by Kamps.IFR also plans to buy, after the float, Kamps Food Retail Investments (KFRI), in which ACP and Kamps have “a significant shareholding”. KFRI owns Nordsee, which is claimed to be the largest fish retail chain in Europe with a turnover of more than E345m.Commenting on the proposed acquisitions Heiner Kamps said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be back in the bakery business. We plan to make further acquisitions in the bakery and other food retailing sectors in continental Europe in order to consolidate food retailing.”last_img read more

News story: Faith Minister calls for new bell ringers as the nation readies for the First World War Centenary

first_img Email [email protected] Media enquiries General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 Lord Bourne’s call to action comes after the UK government, supported by the German government, invited nations across the world to participate in international bell ringing on 11 November 2018. This will mirror the moment 100 years ago when relief and emotion overtook and bells rang out across the country to celebrate Armistice. 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 Office address and general enquiries The government funded ‘Ringing Remembers’ project aims to recruit 1,400 new bell ringers to take part in Armistice Day 2018 commemorations as the First World War Centenary programme reaches a seminal moment. The campaign is being run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in collaboration with Big Ideas and the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.One thousand new bell ringers have already been recruited to ring out following the traditional march past the Cenotaph and to honour the 1,400 bell ringers who lost their lives in the First World War.Meeting new recruits to the project in the north-east, Lord Bourne officially launched the new Ringing Remembers badge, which will provide bell ringers with a lasting reminder of their contribution to Armistice Day 2018.Faith Minister Lord Bourne said:center_img If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. Contact form https://forms.communit… Become a bell ringer today by emailing [email protected] Social media – MHCLG The bell ringing community tragically saw 1,400 members lose their lives to the war effort. Their sacrifice will be honoured by our Ringing Remembers project, which will recruit the same number of bell ringers to take part in the centenary Armistice Day celebrations. One hundred years ago bell ringers across the country caught and amplified the national mood as 4 years of war came to an end. In remembrance of that special moment, and of the sacrifice bell ringers made during the First World War, I urge people across the nation to sign up to ‘Ringing Remembers’ and take part in Armistice Day 2018 as we honour those that gave so much to defend our freedom and liberty one hundred years ago. Twitter – – – read more

President Faust sustainability message

first_imgHarvard University President Drew Faust speaking on the University’s commitment to sustainability and the release of its first Sustainability Impact Report (“These accomplishments support our research and teaching mission by lowering operational costs and increasing efficiency, efforts that we must continue to support and strengthen in the months and years to come.”last_img

Relearning ways to grieve

first_img Ways to redirect our response to COVID-19 anxieties Chan School’s Lipsitch says that and other key questions remain over China’s status, how bad the outbreak eventually will be in the U.S. and elsewhere, and most effective countermeasures This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.As the death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so does our grief — and our need to process it. But like so much upended by the coronavirus, social distancing is forcing a change to our ways of mourning. With everything from hugs to funerals now forbidden or unrecognizable, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health online forum on Wednesday focused on “How the Discomfort of Grief Can Help Us: Recognizing and Adapting to Loss During the COVID-19 Outbreak.”“Losses are ubiquitous in a world closed down by the virus,” said Christy Denckla, a research associate in epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. “The scope of this loss is truly global and unprecedented.”In addition to the accumulating COVID-19 deaths, Denckla noted that the snowballing repercussions from the disappearance of jobs to the cancellation of traditional events like graduations or sporting matches compound the sense of bereavement and dislocation.The forum, hosted by Katherine Shear, the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, from her home to a viewership of more than 700, was the fourth in a series addressing the emotional and psychological effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Shear said problems arise when the mechanisms of coping — processing grief and resuming a changed life — are disrupted. And as founder and director of the Center for Complicated Grief at the Columbia School of Social Work, she offered practices that clinicians, family members, and the bereaved themselves can use. We never truly lose our grief, but we integrate it into our ongoing and productive lives. We are changed, but we resume living. When mourning is derailed, however, we are incapable of moving on. — Katherine Shear Third in series of Chan School forums offers tips for coping with the pandemic Relatedcenter_img A big coronavirus mystery: What about the children? First, she said, grief must be recognized as “a full body and mind response,” one that is complicated and erratic even under the best circumstances. “Grief naturally contains a lot of mixed thoughts and feelings,” she said. For example, we cannot help but think about what or who is lost, even as those thoughts bring us pain.But with time, acute grief usually calms down into something manageable. “Research has shown us that resilience is the norm, rather than the exception,” said Christy Denckla, a research associate in epidemiology at the Chan School, who joined Shear at the forum along with Chan School research associate Archana Basu.We never truly lose our grief, Shear said, but we integrate it into our ongoing and productive lives. We think of the lost person or situation even as we accept our altered circumstances. We get a new job, or we assume a chore our loved one once performed. We are changed, but we resume living.When mourning is derailed, however, we are incapable of moving on. Mourning can be disturbed by preexisting depression or mental health issues, or excesses of such common responses as guilt, anger, or counterfactual thinking (dwelling on “if only …” scenarios). In addition, belief that one will never move on can lead to avoidance or repression of the natural feelings of sadness and loss, hindering the process.The current crisis derailed grief. It’s natural to think “If only I hadn’t let him go to the supermarket” when a loved one falls ill, for example. The shock and lack of context — the sudden, sweeping nature of the pandemic — interfere with our natural coping skills, while the unavailability of physical contact, the hugs and shared tears, has both emotional and physiological implications, said Shear. On top of that, immediate demands, such as caring for children stuck at home, may encourage mourners to delay their grief. All these factors, said Shear, need to be accepted with our new and changing reality. “An important thing with COVID-19 is that people may need to sideline their grief,” she said. “People need to take care of themselves and often others, such as children. It’s not essential for the best adaptive processes to happen right away, and that’s OK.”To help the bereaved process when they can, she recommended several approaches. “Gently remind them that there is a future,” she said. Grief will never entirely disappear, but life will continue.Next, “encourage creative ways to stay connected. We don’t really grieve well alone,” Shear said. When possible, “It is usually helpful for the person to be invited to share the story of the death.” Ask “What happened?,” and then listen.“Lastly, we want to help people learn to live with the reminders,” she said. While it may be hard to view pictures or a loved one’s belongings at first, mementos can have lasting value when remembering is no longer so painful. “Help people feel a sense of connection to the deceased person,” Shear said. This will help the process of grieving and, ultimately, moving on.The series will continue Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Donn Posner, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. The forums are public and can be accessed via the Chan School’s website. Resources, including the slides used and a recording of the forum, are available online.last_img read more