On September 16, AIRIP’s 2020 Global Intelligence Summit kicked off with a fantastic keynote address by Dr. Rob Morgan, a psychologist with the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. AIRIP leadership thought that the membership would particularly benefit
from Dr. Morgan’s approach to building resiliency out of challenging situations, as we all continue to navigate the Covid-19 environment.
Following Dr. Morgan’s thought-provoking presentation, AIRIP hosted breakout sessions so that members could discuss more in-depth their own ways of managing stress. In concert with Dr. Morgan’s suggestion of creating responses to stressors at a multitude
of levels, here are some of the salient takeaways shared:
Biological: Members cited the importance of exercise, but also amending exercise habits to meet the moment (i.e. switching to online classes when gyms are closed). Also identifying the internal “want” to be lonely vice wanting company and adjusting
(so, maybe alternating from solitary walks to distanced walks with friends). Someone also suggested focusing on an activity that commands all of your attention, like yoga or journaling, as a way to escape news/work/other stressors.
Self: One member shared a great insight from her boss: Prioritization is not saying no to bad ideas, it’s saying no to good ideas. Sometimes we need to actively turn away from an idea or activity we’d normally gravitate to, in order to maintain
a personal boundary. It’s admitting there are things out there we should be doing but cannot do.
Another great idea offered from the group was using our professional skillsets to help us manage the crisis. One participant is a crisis manager at her company, and tried to break down Covid into various chunks in order to process and tackle it. Another
member chimed in and said that when he first went into quarantine and there were so many unknowns, he used his skills as a researcher to dig as deep as he could into whatever information was available at that time – focusing on (and enhancing) the
knowns vice the unknowns.
Group: One participant specifically cited creating a teaching pod for his kids and the kids of friends. Notably in order for this to work, everyone needs to be on the same wavelength as far as Covid behaviors.
Organizations: One member said that once quarantine was in effect, her team met daily on Zoom. This made her feel very anxious – often her kids were in the background, being loud, or she wasn’t feeling camera-ready. She finally approached her boss
and shared her sentiments. Now she can choose whether they share their Zoom screens during the daily check, and can also decide whether or not to have mics on. This is a great example of compromising in the workspace – the daily checks are clearly
important to the member’s manager, but she’s found a way to make them more manageable for her.
Another member emphasized the importance of building a culture of recognition at work to motivate and express thanks – providing both emotional support and career support.
Community: One participant championed simply holding calls to discuss anything other than work, using industry and team happy hours as a place to connect socially, beyond professionally.
Another member offered a suggestion of pivoting to online training across companies, keeping people engaged and learning new things – building a broader community across the industry.
Society: A member observed that covid has cut at trust being at the heart of society, and that we have to continue to trust in others, which is a challenge.
To learn more about Dr. Morgan’s work and approach to building resiliency, check out his LinkedIn profile!
Thank you to breakout session moderators Elena Carrington and Suzanna Morrow for this write-up!