By: Guest Blogger Jose (Marty) Martinez
Resiliency Tips - ATC
Working with others is something most of us have to endure every day. We try to have the best relationship possible with our co-workers, to make work go by smoother. Although that is not always possible, resiliency training can teach us skills to deal with any situations that can occur in the workplace. ATC (Activating Event, Thought, Consequences) highlights a different way of thinking about a situation to achieve the best possible outcome. Resiliency foster self awareness and self control. This article will discuss how the ATC model can be used to respond to triggering events with resilience.
How Do We Benefit From Resiliency Training?
The first step is to identify the activating event or trigger of the situation. The second step is to recognize your heat-of-the-moment thoughts (your interpretation of the activating event.) The final step is to distinguish the emotions stemming from your heat-of-the-moment thoughts and their accompanying reactions or consequences. Understanding these steps can lead to a more efficient way of managing high stress situations in a professional setting.
Taking into consideration that everyone reacts to situations in different ways, ATC works for serious adversity (the death of a family member) or minor issues (getting a traffic citation). The activating event can also be a positive one that triggers the situation (a promotion or the birth of a child). When thinking about the activating event, it's important to ensure you correctly identify the root cause of the situation. Let’s say you work in the retail industry and you have a customer who is rude and aggressive, or mistreating employees. Your activating event can be this customer screaming at you about your store not carrying a top she wants in 3XL. When you have identified your trigger, you can continue with your initial thoughts.
How Does Personality Fit into Resiliency Training?
Your heat-of-the-moment thoughts may vary depending on what kind of personality you have. Anyone with Type A personalities would probably think of some choice words in response to this situation. Your thoughts drive immediate reaction which can be productive or counter-productive. Will your thoughts lead to a positive situation? Or will they make the situation worse?
The consequences that stem from your immediate thoughts are your emotions and reactions. The emotion describes what you feel as a result of this customer yelling at you. The reaction illustrates what you do as a result of the emotion driving this situation. With this scenario, you have to take into account the setting you are in and what you are doing at the time. Since this is your place of work, you have no choice but to assist the customer in finding what she needs. You do not want risk termination, therefore, you hold your tongue and maintain a professional demeanor. This reaction may help de-escalate the situation into a more manageable one, where the consumer leaves content.
Effective implementation of the ATC model promotes a new outlook on everyday situations. Where things used to make you angry and lead you to lose your temper, you can now respond differently. This skill can aide you in affecting your surroundings in a positive manner.
About the Guest Author
Jose (Marty) Martinez
Fenix Strategies Instructor/Adviser
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