Dealing with change and crisis

Everyone knows times when life seems to go by itself. Happiness is thrown into your lap, you eat a magnum every day and friends who you are just waiting for immediately call spontaneously with a six pack of specialty beer. You talk about the mega successful day you have had and share the common happiness.
Life smiles at you from ear to ear.
Then there will always be a moment when something small is not going well.

Your shoelace will break if you try to arrive on time in the morning.

No time to look for an old string in the garage between the camping stuff so you leave it there. When you walk towards the car with your freshly ground cup of beans, you notice that it might not have been so smart. You notice this, because the hot coffee including the foam layer is floating in front of your eyes. You seem to tumble forward and before you know it there is a broken ear of the coffee cup next to you. You have a hole in your new jeans, and hot coffee is on the last bit of hair on your head. Moreover, you are stretched out on the sidewalk moaning in pain. Then you know, from here it goes downhill with my luck.

You already know that bad luck never comes in singular. A real disaster for Jos. What awaits Jos now?

Phases during crisis

omgaan met rampen

Dealing with changes

In this example I am talking about something small, but of course you can scale up the fall through the shoelace to the disaster that applies to you. How do you deal with changes within the team? How do you deal with change in the workplace? Or how do you deal with the change of culture?

Research firm Zunin & Meyers made the schedule below for the state of Nebraska. They wondered how people deal with disasters, what stages do you go through emotionally?

Phase 1 prior

In this phase you often see fear and uncertainty. Especially if you can see the disaster approaching, the length of this phase is quite dependent on how clear the disaster is to come. The man with a shoelace was warned of breaking his lace, he knew about it, but took the risk of going to work without repairing the lace. 

Disasters without this phase create a feeling of powerlessness. There was never a moment when you could have done something. You never had a chance to protect yourself or your family. I am thinking of the people who were working in the Twin Towers on September 11.

Phase 2 impact

A series of emotions follow in quick succession. This series of emotions can lead to shock or an exaggerated reaction. These are the moments when people react purely and limbically with freezing, fighting or fleeing. Often the impact moment of a disaster is fairly short and intense.

Phase 3 Playing the hero

A period in which there is often a lot of action. Actions that often turn out to be less productive. Adrenaline is still screaming through your body, so you see a lot of exploits and altruism. It is building the sense of togetherness that comes next. Everyone wants to contribute something.

Phase 4 Strong together

In the original schedule of Zunin and Myers, this is called the honeymoon. We're in this together, we're strong together. You also saw this in our Corona crisis. We were applauding together for the healthcare employees. Leaders rise in popularity at this stage as they stimulate the sense of togetherness. There is also optimism and hope that everything will quickly return to its original state. The best time to start projects that need broad support. The man in the example would have said to himself ... 'how stupid we are today, but it will be all right again'.

Stage 5 Disillusion

As an illusionist, the disillusion phase is not one of my favorite phases. The severity of the disaster is quickly realized. The man feels the pain again when the adrenaline drops. During the corona crisis, the Dutch began to realize that a major economic recession was imminent. And that the help for all freelancers was minimal. People are beginning to worry about the consequences of the disaster. 

The widening gap between relief and pain often evokes feelings of abandonment. This becomes even clearer when others simply return to work. If the neighbor steps into his tesla cheerfully whistling with a fresh cup of coffee, that makes the facts of our Jos destemeer clear.

The disillusion phase can sometimes take longer than hoped for. Reminders and commemorations process, but this phase is also extended. This does not have to be a planned commemoration, the thought of how long it has been is often enough to extend the disillusion phase.

Phase 6 reconstruction

After acceptance has taken place, recovery can begin. The lace is made, the wound on the nose heals. You often see that there are solid collaborations to work on common goals with more peace than in the 'strong together' phase. It's climbing back in the saddle. That creates tension, but it has to be done. Maybe from now on Jos will only choose Velcro shoes. Although he wonders if being bullied at work is worse than not falling. 

Depending on catastrophic events, this phase can last a long time. If you continue to scratch the crust of the wound, it will take a long time to heal.

Video about falling

After I got acquainted with the scheme above, I made it (right at the beginning of the corona crisis) the following video.

About falling, about letting it happen if it is unstoppable. Sometimes the power is greater than you. Resistance only costs energy.


Book guest speaker Jochem Nooyen for your seminar or event

Jochem has a lot of affinity with the following subjects. He creates a tailor-made show full of stories and illusion acts

Everything we do online can be followed and hacked, but your thoughts are safe…. Right ?! In this illusion show Privacy is an illusion.

Santaclaus already knew what your desires and wishes were when you were a kid. Big tech companies know that you are pregnant even before you know it. How should we live without privacy? In his second theatre show, Jochem Nooyen investigates this topic. This presentation consists of the best parts of that theatre show. A wonderful look at cyber security and mind reading. Do our minds need a firewall?


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Take a look through the eyes of this illusionist.
The presentation refreshes, amazes and provides new insights. Change often involves resistance. Jochem lets you experience what happens when you adjust your story. Because how you deal with the changes can be influenced or directed. As a theatre maker, Jochem tells you how different a story is experienced when you change small details. A show full of humor, illusions, interaction and storytelling.

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In the 'Influence' presentation, the illusionist explains how we as humans are influenced by everything around us. Discover the influencer in yourself and your colleagues.

After his successful theatre tour with the illusion show 'Influence', Jochem has put together a special presentation about influencing. How can we be influenced as people? How can you determine in advance which choices will be made? How can our brains be seduced? How can we be nudged or directed? Discover it in a theatrical session. Comical, interactive, educational and above all wonderful.


A one-man show by mind-illusionist Jochem Nooyen, full of stories, interaction and humor. Wondrous mind illusions and interactive experiments with the entire audience provide fun and wonder in the magical show 'The Brain Juggler '.

Do you make free choices? Can Jochem read your mind? And did you just feel him touch you, even though he is halfway across the stage from you? We join Jochem as he walks the thin line between science and illusion.
This show can be flexibly adapted to different themes. Think of themes such as: 'Nothing is what it seems', 'Focus and attention' and 'Perception'.

Flex illusion show