Wisdom in Crisis From Dr. Henry Cloud

Posted by Jack Warren, Executive Pastor, on Mar 26, 2020

Wisdom in Crisis From Dr. Henry Cloud

Here we are on March 26, 2020, and we are in the middle of a pandemic. The news, guidance, and restrictions seem to change hour by hour. No one really knows where this whole thing is going. It has affected every area of our lives and it doesn’t feel good at all.

A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to spend a week in a class with Dr. Henry Cloud. It was life-changing. Yesterday, I was invited to attend a webinar that Dr. Cloud hosted from his home, with his dog interrupting at times. He called it, “The Psychology of a Crisis.” He shared five things that keep us centered as humans and how all five of these are being interrupted right now. He also shared how we as leaders can help restore these five things in the middle of the chaos. I believe you will find these very helpful and that it will also give you some tracks to run on as you search for how to best lead yourself and others right now.

Five Things to Restore in Times of Crisis

  1. Loss of Connection
    This is the first pillar that has been taken away.
    Response: Create new ways to connect yourself and others. Create ways to talk to people, meet in groups online, and create ways to pray together.
  2. Loss of Structure
    Routines have been interrupted and everyone feels a bit lost.
    Response: Quickly create new structures and schedules. Name the time, location, and rhythm you will go by.
  3. Loss of Clear Thinking
    We kick into fight or flight mode when we lose connection and structure. Different personalities respond differently. Our brains can’t think clearly when we are overloaded with stress and panic.
    Response: Limit news intake, express your fight or flight thoughts to a friend. Naming the fears can help. Again, create new connections and new structures.
  4. Loss of Control
    Many of our choices are being made for us right now and we can move into a pattern called learned helplessness.
    Response: Encourage people to list out what they can’t control and think about those things for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, make a list of what you can control and make action plans and goals around those things. Also, read Psalm 91 often.
  5. Loss of Accomplishment
    We need to accomplish things every day and most of the things we accomplished have been removed.
    Response: Create new ways for people to use their gifts.

Other Things to Keep in Mind as a Leader:

If you lead a group or organization, share three things: this is what is happening right now, this is what we are doing about it, and this is what we are asking you to do.
  • Be Empathetic. People need to know that you feel their discomfort and fears.
  • Be honest: This is what we know, and this is what we don’t know.
  • Communicate often
  • Let people know you are connected to other leaders and government officials. You aren’t game planning in a vacuum.
  • Please apply these practices to yourself and provide them for the people you lead, your friends, family, teams, and organizations.

Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

What Is Advent?

Nov 25, 2022

Holiday traditions anchor us as they bring cheer into our homes. Explore the centuries-old tradition of Advent and how it can enrich your own Christmas celebration.

How to Have a Heart Filled With Thanks

Nov 22, 2022

As Thanksgiving draws near, we start thinking about what we are thankful for. But what does it mean to have a heart filled with thanks beyond the holidays?

Starting New Thanksgiving Traditions

Nov 18, 2022

Life changes happen, and they can make celebrating the holidays tough. Use these ideas to help you "flip the script" on those changes and begin some new traditions.

4 Key #HolidayGoals for the Holiday Season

Nov 10, 2022

The holidays are almost here! Don't let them pass by in a blur; use these 4 key goals to help yourself and loved ones make the most of this special season.

How Would Jesus Navigate Politics Today?

Nov 07, 2022

How would Jesus navigate the political issues we face today?

Sustaining Hope in Egypt

Oct 31, 2022

Two Chase Oaks Partners work to sustain hope among Egypt's poor by creating economic opportunities for a better life. Read how they are helping people to thrive, post-Covid.

How To Find a Good Young Adults Ministry

Oct 19, 2022

Looking for a place to make some friends, find community, and grow in your faith as a young adult? Here are a few ideas to help you find your people.

Chasing Down Patience

Oct 18, 2022

Why is patience so hard to develop? Read one big reason why and find some practical steps to chase down this elusive virtue, here.

Halloween: A Time to Be a Good Neighbor

Oct 16, 2022

Halloween can be a perfect opportunity to be a good neighbor to those who live around us. Check out four fun and easy ideas right here:

Making a Difference One Resume at a Time

Oct 11, 2022

We can all make a difference. Read the inspiring story of one person who's using her skills to help people find jobs through the Local Good Center's Job Readiness program.