Reconnect and Reset – In a Chaotic World

Meeting face to face, for a lovely lunch recently, with a coaching colleague, we were both shocked to discover how stressed and anxious we were feeling about being asked to deliver live workshops to clients once again. We shared how emotionally overwhelmed we felt, despite having decades of knowledge, experience, and skills in being able to deliver learning programs and coaching sessions, about doing live gigs again! We also agreed, that despite the range of largely effective emotionally intelligent coping strategies we developed to help ourselves and our clients self-regulate, self-manage, to better adapt to the pandemic-imposed work-from-home restrictions that the past two and half years of working, alone, and in isolation, online, had taken its toll.

We acknowledged and accepted that were all suffering from elevated levels of stress, discomfort, and anxiety. We then agreed that it was time to focus on exploring how to better help ourselves and our clients reconnect and reset by enabling them to create states of well-being where they can feel good, can function well, and be effective in an increasingly chaotic world.

To seek new ways of enabling ourselves and our clients to deal effectively with feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and fearfulness about our uncertain futures. 

These feelings often caused our clients to contract and freeze, and become immobilised as a result of self-induced silo-based behaviours, which often evolved into extreme self-centredness. Which ultimately became an unconscious lever for increasing their feelings of isolation and loneliness and lack of belonging in what is becoming an increasingly chaotic world.

Co-creating an opportunity, in this unique moment in time, to focus on being kinder to ourselves and to others by helping and supporting each other, respectfully and compassionately, creatively and courageously, to reconnect and reset. Despite rising levels of economic, civic, and social uncertainty and unrest.

What made sense yesterday may not make so much sense today.

Many of the mental models we applied yesterday may not be relevant for tomorrow because corporate culture, civic and social structures have drastically changed and digitalization has become commonplace, noting that we are shifting from a VUCA to BANI world where:

  • Brittle has replaced Volatility.
  • Anxiety reflects Uncertainty.
  • Non-linearity is an addition to Complexity.
  • Incomprehensibility is ultimately the consequence of our non-linear world and goes one step further than Ambiguity.

Paradoxically, this has created new openings to genuinely explore and discover new thresholds to adapt, generate new mindsets, develop skill sets, and power up our toolkits to keep pace with the effects of the emerging BANI world and capture complex systems by asking a range of key generative questions:

  • How might we support and enable others to think and act differently in such a world, where old patterns seem to crumble while new ideas and systems still need to be created, invented, innovated, and established?

First, we have to help people deal with, and respond respectfully and kindly, to how they may be feeling overwhelmed, isolated, lonely, and disconnected in our increasingly chaotic world.

It is imperative to allow, accept, acknowledge and support people to recover and rehabilitate from the shock and pain they are experiencing as a result of recent global events and conflicts.

Where many are languishing into feelings of overwhelm, isolation, loneliness, and disconnection.

According to Gallops Global Emotions 2022 Report – these are considered “negative emotions – the aggregate of the stress, sadness, anger, worry and physical pain that people feel every day” and have reached a new record in the history of their tracking. Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallop stated in the report that their data reveals that unhappiness has been rising for more than a decade and that the world is also struggling from a silent pandemic – loneliness. “Gallup finds that 330 million adults go at least two weeks without talking to a single friend or family member. And just because some people have friends, it doesn’t mean they have good friends. One‑fifth of all adults do not have a single person they can count on for help”.

  • How might we support and enable others to stay mentally healthy and innovate despite all this chaos, disruption, and uncertainty?

Secondly, we have to help people co-create quality connections that enable them to create a state of well-being where they feel good and can function well and be effective in a chaotic world.

Make the time to reconnect and reset with others by safely sharing personal stories, information, ideas, and experiences.

To actively listen so people feel heard and understood, and help them self-regulate and self-manage their range of unresourceful emotional states by:

  • Paying deep attention to where people are at, and allowing them to be there,
  • Being grounded, mindful, conscious and fully present, and respectful of where they are at,
  • Being compassionate, accept and acknowledge where they are at and what is true for them, that it is OK to not be OK.
  • Being curious and empathic to reconnect with them personally and individually.

Thirdly, this is not a time to panic – it is a time to help people take a sacred pause, retreat, and reset through experimenting with a set of reflective practices, to better manage the present and the future.

Take the time to reconnect and reset by helping people shift their attention and mindsets to respond with intention rather than regret. To help people see and break old and unresourceful patterns, to inspire and pull people towards a more compelling future by:

  • Taking the time out to emerge, diverge and converge possibilities for creative and inventive ways of perceiving their current situation differently,
  • Seeking new opportunities for developing a wider range of potentially resourceful emotional states,
  • Coaching them to find a balance between their own unique levels of internal and external chaos, with any self-imposed internal rigidity and enable them to break and abandon old patterns and unresourceful habits to better reconnect and reset.

As the world of work changes, so does the need for everyone to consider how to be more open-hearted, minded, and willed with one another.

A final word from Gallop CEO Jon Preston in the Gallop Global Emotions Report:

All over the world, people are trying to understand the rise of violence, hatred, and increased radicalization. They will continue to argue over what the best policy responses should be and what role social media plays in fueling negative emotions. However, policymakers must understand why so many more people are experiencing unprecedented negative emotions and focus on the drivers of a great life. Our shared humanity and wellbeing depend on it.

When we generously and kindly demonstrate care, respect, and appreciation for the value everyone brings, we can also demonstrate helpfulness and support, through our unconditional willingness to reconnect and reset.

This results in co-creating a better sense of belonging and a more optimistic outlook, by enhancing our emotional intelligence through developing effective self-regulation and self-management superpowers and strategies, to thrive, flourish and flow, and make transformational changes in the face of relentless uncertainty, disruption, and a chaotic world.

This is the first in a series of three blogs on the theme of reconnecting and resetting, to create, invent and innovate in an increasingly chaotic world. You can also register for our free 45-minute masterclass on Thursday, 25th August, to discover new ways of re-connecting through the complexity and chaos of dis-connection to create, invent and innovate in the future! Find out more.


Janet Sernack
Janet Sernack
Janet Sernack is the Founder and CEO of ImagineNation™ a global learning and coaching company that unlocks human potential and develops human skills that enable people to adapt, innovate and grow through disruption in ways that add value to the quality of people’s lives, that are appreciated and cherished by: Empowering people to tolerate uncertainty, and be receptive and ready to make radical changes individually and collectively; Enabling people to make sense of innovation, develop a common understanding and language and apply and align it strategically and systemically in their unique context; Opening people to their innovation potential, igniting their imagination, developing their human skills and harnessing their collective intelligence to design and deliver breakthrough solutions; Empowering people to take smart risks, safely experiment, fail fast to learn quickly and collaborate to cohesively maximize differences and diversity in their unique context. She has 35 years of experience consulting and leading culture development, change management, leadership, innovation education, and coaching interventions to some of Australasia’s, Canada’s, and Israel’s top 100 companies.  Acknowledged as a global thought leader on the people side of innovation, she is an award-winning blogger, an ICF PCC coach, an EMCC Master Practitioner, and is a Professionally Certified Coach for Innovators, Mbit and NLP coach, mentor, trainer, and facilitator.  

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