Remember the Positives

In the last section, I was talking about making success out of failure. In this section, I want to talk about strengths. How significant is it that we associate the word “strength” with positives? Usually, when we think of our strengths, we think of times in our lives where we’ve been successful at something. We must keep this in mind when it comes to crisis prevention as well as crisis intervention training in the workplace.

When you’re dealing with someone in crisis, it’s imperative to focus on the small positives. Find something the person might bring to the situation that may have helped them in the past. Look for and remind them of those things that have been positive.  “Look, Johnny, I know you’re upset. Do you remember last week when you were getting ready to punch little Sally? Remember, you went into your room, you counted to ten, then you came back out and talked to me? Do you remember that? I know you’re upset, man. I know. Do you remember when you did that? It worked, didn’t it? It worked. Try it, again. It might work for you, now.” Using a strength based approach is huge. In a crisis, what are some strengths you might play upon that are going to help resolve the situation?  Identifying some strengths prior to a crisis occurring with that individual can be highly beneficial.  Have a plan.

I will have to truly “sell” that strength to the individual, as was discussed earlier. I’m trying to remind the individual of a time and a skill that the individual has already proven is a strength. I’m going to try to get them to remember. I want to try to bring them back to that positive moment, bring them back to that time when they did complete this task. I want them to remember a time when they were able to de-escalate successfully, so they can be reminded of their strength. Very often, people in crisis don’t remember their strengths. For most of us, when we’re struggling with something, we don’t say, “Oh, I feel so great about all the accomplishments in my life right now, so good in fact that I won’t struggle with this now.”

No. Crisis situations usually occur when a person is feeling out of whack, when they’re entering a place of uncertainty, sadness, fear, etc. or when they’re trying to work through something difficult.  In those circumstances, people are not thinking about their past successes. Think about how you might remind that individual of the positives in their life. Have you worked with them recently and witnessed them doing something that was successful? If you have, bring it up to them. Remind them of it. Use the strength-based approach and help them to remember the positives.