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Goal Setting for Post Traumatic Growth - Part 1

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

I’ve written before about goal setting, why it’s important and why it needs to be done differently when working remotely.


This article is about Post Traumatic Growth, what it is and how to achieve it. Of major importance is that post traumatic growth does not happen all by itself. It is a process (not an outcome) and it requires activity to drive it. And that’s where goal setting comes in.



What is Post Traumatic Growth?

We’ve all heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and indeed there has been a lot written recently about the potential for PTSD in many people following the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) is a rise to a higher level of functioning as a result of adversity and other challenges.

So PTG goes further than Resilience, which enables a person to get back to where they were before whatever crisis occurred. The Growth part takes them further forward so they perform better after the trauma than they performed before it. PTG is an area of positive psychology that is attracting more research.


Can Everyone Experience PTG?

Research shows that individuals who aspire to standards and orderliness are more likely to develop PTG and there are certain personality traits that contribute to PTG. I’ll explain more in PART TWO.


Whilst not everyone can experience the "life-changing" psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change that is deeply meaningful, it is also not inevitable that they will sink into PTSD.



How Can Business Leaders Utilise This Understanding?

Business leaders and owner managers have experienced a wide range of behaviours from their team members during the pandemic, whether they are working remotely or at the workplace. The best performers have high levels of trust within the organisation and people work together to achieve common goals that everyone understands.


Many changes have taken place in business therefore the team and individual achievement goals that have been set recently will be different as a result. Leaders who connect the growth of their business to the personal growth of their team members will be the ones with the highest success rates.

In addition to being SMART, new goals need to be:

  • Intrinsic

  • Authentic

  • Positive

  • Harmonious

  • Flexible and Activity-based

I would also advocate everyone sharing information about each other’s goals so all team members can support each other to achieve. In high trust business environments individuals communicate openly to identify and eliminate any conflict between goals and maximise achievement for the business overall.


Post-traumatic growth is not easy to achieve, either for an individual or a business. It is even more difficult to achieve during the adversity itself. Therefore, the support of a coach to facilitate reflection and learning over an extended period will help you and your team achieve a bigger leap, further forward than you may achieve alone.


Contact linda@stepsforgrowth.co.uk to learn more.


Subscribe to my newsletter here.


Newsletter subscribers will receive PART TWO of this article direct to their inboxes before wider publication plus they will also receive additional content on post-traumatic growth.

Further Reading:

Tedeshi, R.G., & Calhoun, L.G. (2004). Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundation and Empirical Evidence. Philadelphia, PA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

https://www.stepsforgrowth.co.uk/post/behaviour-challenges-for-remote-working

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2tkEk6MgWA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_growth

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