When I say “horrific”…

When I say horrific

I watched a young woman on the news recently use the word “horrific” to describe her experience. No this wasn’t a victim of recent terrorist atrocities in Paris, nor was she fleeing the horrors inflicted by Isis or Boko Haram. This was someone who was caught in some very bad weather (by UK standards) and whose travel plans had been disrupted.

Now, I am not for a minute trivialising her experience, I am sure it was hugely inconvenient and must have been frustrating and disappointing for her but it is just one example of where we seem to have lost perspective. If something isn’t “amazing” then it’s “horrific”. We seem to see-saw between two extremes of hyperbole with little to centre us. Expressions like “Weather Bombs” and “Thunder Snow” have appeared recently in relation to the weather but think also of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” in exaggerating the importance of rather mundane events. (Incidentally, a client of mine in retail had someone order goods by telephone on Cyber Monday because he was “avoiding the internet” that day!)

This strikes me as eating away at the core of our resilience and makes me question our capability to put things in perspective and find appropriate language in describing our experience to others.

Thankfully very, very few of us will ever experience genuinely “horrific” events in our lives. We will however experience a range of emotions from ecstasy to sorrow and everything in between.

Leadership and true self-leadership lies in our ability to recognise these emotions for what they are, tend to them appropriately and take action to control the things we can control. Something we continually ask our delegates to do on various programmes we run.

Now you’ll have to excuse me, the forecast is rather frightening for late February so I’m off to load the car with snow shoes, shovels and survival kits.

Posted by John Drysdale
27th February 2015
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