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Is Workplace Trauma the Key to Success?


What if you got fired?

What if you messed up a presentation that was the stepping stone to your next promotion?

What if your boss threw you under the bus for a mistake that wasn’t yours?

Very few of us go through life without some kind of interruption in our careers. And while deep breathing may relieve frustration when you are caught in a traffic jam it won’t make one small dent in the despair and pain you feel upon having your career prospects dashed.

Thriving in your professional life is about more than just coping through these traumatic events—it is about turning tragedy around and making it work for you.

I have worked with countless people who have been able to grow from major career setbacks and have gone on to make their lives better than ever. Their success demonstrates that with desire, personal courage, and the right information, it is possible to make trauma a positive force in your life using Asset-Based Thinking (ABT).

Major stresses require a process that will restore your focus on gaining internal control—in the moment and over the long term. The benefits come from getting out a defensive (and ultimately helpless) posture into a position of power.

Your greatest power in the face of adversity is your power to choose how you will react—that’s where Asset-Based Thinking comes in.

How do you choose to see this trauma? As a threat or a challenge?

Learning to see threats as challenges is the first of the four stages of self-empowerment through ABT. The other three are: exploration, invention and transformation.

My next few blog posts will be about these four stages and how they lead you to a position of personal and professional power, a position from which you can not only deal but benefit from the stressful and traumatic situations we all face in the workplace.

Tune in for more on Stage 1: Shifting from Threat to Challenge. Coming soon!

Dr. Kathy Cramer

Kathryn D. Cramer, PH.D.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Cramer Institute