About our guest: Debra Woog is a Crisis Navigation Partner with over 30 years of experience in leadership research, executive advising, and mediation. She gained a B.A. in Psychology and American Studies from Wellesley College, as well as an MBA from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management. Additionally, she is a trained mediator and ombudsman, demonstrating her ability to facilitate conflict resolution.
Debra’s Story Debra had been a leadership and career coach, as well as an organizational change consultant, running her own business for about 18 years. Additionally, she had prior experience working with other organizations as an employee. However, she started feeling a sense of burnout and decided to take a step back to reassess her own situation.
During the summer of 2019, she applied the tools she had used with her clients to herself. She took time to reflect on her own strengths, interests, and unique qualities. Through this introspection, she discovered a recurring pattern in her life, which involved helping people through various crises since her early teenage years. This tendency to face crises head-on was something she hadn’t fully recognized before, even though others often turned to her during difficult times.
Recognizing that she had been getting burnt out due to working with clients on less urgent or time-sensitive matters, she made a significant decision to refocus her career. She realized she felt most engaged and fulfilled when supporting clients facing high-stakes crises. Having experienced the loneliness of dealing with personal crises without a support system, she empathized with others who might be going through the same and wanted to be a “crisis navigation partner” for those who needed assistance during challenging times.
In this episode of Happy and Healthy Mind with Dr. Rozina, Debra shared tips on how to overcome life’s toughest moments.
Three Keys To Navigating A Crisis
Capacity: assess and enhance your capacity to manage a crisis by being emotionally prepared, maintaining sharp executive function skills, staying well-organized, and having contingency plans in place. Consider scaling back and delegating tasks to create more time and prioritize self-care, as it can significantly increase your ability to handle the crisis effectively.
Community: Identify and maintain a support network of individuals who genuinely care for you and possess diverse skills complementary to your own. Having a list of these people can be helpful during moments of crisis, providing emotional support and reminding you that you are not alone.
Communication: If you are the main source of help or support of the person going through crisis, know that you are not alone. You can communicate your needs to the people you trust. Strengthening your skill in handling difficult conversations can also help in guiding others through the crisis. If you want to learn the details on how to implement these tips watch the full episode below:
“We all have to dive into the sea of affliction sometimes. But we learn and grow from it and we get nuggets of wisdom from it. And so it’s not all terrible when you’re going through a crisis or supporting someone else through it because you become a stronger, more resilient human as a result.”-Debra Woog