disruption Ask Dr G
Written by Doctor G

The link between disruption and credibility

Hi! disruption

Life often feels like a series of disruptions. Whether you are just trying to get some work done at your desk, or finish one chore while supervising small children or read an entire article on one app while your phone sends you notifications from other apps, you’ve experienced multiple disruptions.

A disruption is not the same thing as an annoyance or a crisis. A disruption is the “forcible separation or division into parts.”

Right now for me, the war in Israel is separating my life into parts. Something (maybe that something but also maybe something else) is separating your life into parts. And that separation might not be bad for us. 

Whether you’re a leader of an organization or a group or a family, you have a vision. You have a vision of who you mean to be, a vision you’ve told people they can count on from you. 

Disruptions are our chance to build our credibility.

In the first summer of the pandemic, a company for whom I consult called me to say “We had to shut down operations and some on our board think we should do a virtual program for our customers. Do you think it’s worth the time and money?” I asked that leader to read me their company’s mission. I won’t put their mission here to protect their privacy, but I’ll paraphrase:

“We at XXX strive to put families first, meeting their needs and providing our service in a safe, respectful and useful way.”

I suggested that they had an opportunity to prove to their customers that they really truly mean what they say in their mission by pivoting and finding a way to meet needs, even given the safety constraints of avoiding in person interactions. 

His incredible team took the challenge and created a virtual experience that they’ve continued to offer even after returning to in person service. And their customers have rewarded them – they have more business and more repeat business than they ever have.

Disruptions are hard. We’ve spoken a lot about how our brains perceive all change as risky. But disruptions are also an opportunity to prove to ourselves and to others that we are who we say we are. That, when things get forcibly divided into parts, we are true to our values and behave in ways that align with our values.

Whatever disruption you’re facing right now, what has it forcibly divided for you? And how can you engage in those smaller parts in a way that makes you proud of who you are? Comment and tell me, I’m really interested!

All my best,

Dr. G

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