Paul Donders defines resilience as the “competence, capacity and energy to deal in a meaningful and constructive way with : stress, disappointments, crises, criticism, changes, fear.” Over the last two years those that live in the region of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), South Africa have had to deal in a meaningful way with a number of these challenges. Not only are we trying to find a way of living with the pandemic, but we’ve had to deal with the protests and with wide scale looting that followed and more recently the KZN floods. In all these cases the loss of life has been immense, the destruction of livelihoods equally demanding as well as the erosion of business confidence.
Recently our first floor of our Durban office was flooded, causing immense damage to the property, the inventory, and the office contents. We are grateful that no lives of any of our team members were lost in this disaster. We pass our condolences to the family members of those that lost their lives in the recent KZN Floods.
A reflection of the occurrences in KZN is important as we pause and ponder about resilience as well as its impact on our lives as a whole. Paul Donders offers some insights on this and states that “Resilience helps in difficult situations not to let ourselves be overpowered by our own emotions, and to provide insight into the core of the matter”. Our Durban managers Donovan Reid-Thomson and Anesh Maniram, have been exceptional during this time ensuring that each and everyone of our team members are safe, working on the clean up and mop up operations of the office and ensuring that our service to our clients is not impacted by this devastating flood. They refused to be overpowered by their emotions and pushed through to core of the matter. There is a focus on what matters and consistently providing value adding solutions despite the devastation.
You see resilience is not built in the times of trials, resilience is tested in these times. If one has not invested in the resilience training during the good times, one cannot expect to suddenly develop resilience when faced with a catastrophe. Our teams are able to work outside their comfort zone in what we term the stretch zone (a zone of sweaty palms that is somewhat uncomfortable). At the same time we are careful not to exceed this zone and fall into what we term the panic zone (a zone categorised by fight or flight, the survival zone).
Our Durban branch may have hit a knock, with the recent occurrences and the flooding of our office, however, our extended team filled in the gap during this time to ensure that we still remain operational and accessible to our clients.
Building trust does not stop when adversity strikes, we keep building.