Club Management Summer 2013 - (Page 18)
Human & Professional Resources
Learning to apply the human
element to you leadership crisis
response will help your team
when it needs it most
Visits Your Club
By Laurie M. Martin, CTS
beloved colleague is killed in a car accident at the entrance to the club
grounds. A senior employee takes his own life—in the pro shop. A
member dies of a heart attack on site, which other members witness.
Death, suicide, and violence—these are not topics most of us want
to think about, but assuming they can’t happen at your club is a mistake.
Following any critical incident, productivity, morale, engagement, and relationships suffer. The death of a colleague, a club member, or a visitor will have significant, lasting effects on a club, its staff, members, the board of directors, and the
broader community. Good leaders know what to do, what to say, and what not to
do to help employees and members through a crisis before it happens. Are you
ready for the inevitable?
The Human Element
The “human element” is critical in crisis
response. When a death affects the workplace, your first concern should be caring
for the person affected, which includes
taking care of yourself.
We were taught to leave our emotions
at the door when we get to work. We were
taught that we should not show or talk
about our feelings at work: We have a job
to do for the next eight hours. But we bring
our whole selves to work, particularly when
work is the place that now feels unsettled,
sad, or even frightening.
People used to believe that the grief process
was linear, predictable, orderly, and finite,
with everyone going through specific stages
in a certain order, in a certain amount of
time, reaching a predictable end point.
Now it is widely understood that no two
people react the same way, even to a similar
critical incident. Loss is a very personal
experience: Don’t analyze or judge another’s
reaction. Watch and listen for signs of stress,
such as insomnia; headaches; lack of energy;
loss of appetite; or overindulging in food,
drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. Provide additional
expert assistance to individuals who need it.
It is more widely accepted that any great
loss will change us forever. It’s no longer
recommended that we get over it or get past it.
Today, we understand that we need to incorporate it into our lives and find a new normal.
What to Say and What Not to Say
In the tough times, you want to encourage
dialogue while being careful about what
you say. Avoid using phrases like “things
happen for a reason,” or “life goes on and
so must you.” Don’t pretend to understand
how the person is feeling or instruct him or
her to feel a certain way.
Instead, focus on listening. use questions to clarify a point or move the
conversation along. They shouldn’t be
too personal, and above all, shouldn’t be
used to control the communication by
determining what will and will not be
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Club Management Summer 2013
Club Executive of the Year 2013
Profiles in Excellence
Bridging the Expectations Gap
When Death Visits Your Club
Design for the Bottome Line
Have a Seat
The 19th Hole
Club Management Summer 2013