While traveling home from my most recent workshop, my plane had a mechanical issue resulting in a long delay. Frequent air travel comes with frequent schedule changes. No matter what you do, inevitably, delays and cancellations will occur disrupting your plans and interfering with your schedule. At best, these experiences are inconvenient, but in reality, they are often quite frustrating. During these more frustrating times, responding in a way that doesn’t make things worse for yourself and others can be a challenge.

As unpredictable as air travel can be, the settings in which we work providing direct care services or training or supervising caregivers can be more so. Despite our best efforts, and sometimes because of them, things don’t go as planned. How we respond to these situations is key to how long it takes for things to get back on track. Here are some things we can do to help.

• Accept that disruptions are going to happen, and plans will have to change.
• Manage yourself. It’s easy to get frustrated when disruptions occur.
• Focus on everyone’s needs. Remember that your needs, while important, are not the only needs not being met.
• Check your perceptions. The reason you think the disruption is occurring may not be accurate. Instead of making judgements, ask questions and show concern.

The greater level of patience and flexibility you are able to show in the situation, the greater the likelihood things may get back on track sooner than later.

Doug ZehrVogt – Mandt System Faculty & ICT Specialist