How to Build Stability during Turbulence

My brain never leaps to the best thing that could happen.

When I don’t hear back from a friend, I imagine they’re mad at me. A headache is a brain tumor. Thankfully I don’t get headaches very often.

People usually jump to negative conclusions. Imagined catastrophes make stability unlikely.

Stability is unlikely when your brain leaps to the worst that could happen. Image of a person running through fire.


  1. Distorts reasoning.
  2. Elevates stress.
  3. Pollutes decision-making.
  4. Strains relationships.
  5. Increases distrust.


Your team sings the Gloom and Doom Song during uncertainty unless you stop catastrophizing.

HEE HAW was a comedy tv show that ran from 1969 to 1971. One sketch featured people singing the Gloom and Doom Song.

Gloom, despair, and agony on ohhhh!
Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all!
Gloom, despair, and agony on ohhh!

“Gloom, Despair & Agony.” (one minute video)

Predictability increases stability:

#1. Satisfy the need to know.

Your team will fabricate stories if you neglect communication. Answer high anxiety with consistent communication.

#2. Comfort people with scheduled communication.

You might say, “We’re in an uncertain situation. I’ll keep you in the know with an update on our situation every Monday Morning.”

Imagination: Imagined monsters are like body odor. The go where you go. Image of a pigs snout.

#3. Manage expectations.

You might say, “This situation will develop slowly. Some updates will inform you that nothing has changed.”

When nothing changes, use your update email to encourage your team to continue doing a great job.

#4. Commit to truthfulness.

You may not feel the need to say you’ll keep everyone informed, but others might need to hear it.

Turn people to day-to-day tasks. Remind everyone that your customers need you.

Rituals add stability during uncertainty.

How can leaders build stability during turbulence?