By Michelle Kennedy April 18, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- As the possibility of furlough draws nearer, agencies across Fort Drum are reaching out to help civilian employees prepare for uncertainty.
Trainers will be offering a Master Resilience Marathon from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through April 25 at the Civilian Workforce Training and Development Center, Bldg. 219, Nash Boulevard.
The four-day training will allow participants to receive all four modules of instruction, according to Jenn Eichner, Mobilization and Deployment program manager and master resilience trainer.
"The four modules cover the 12 resilience skills," she said. "One of the big benefits of attending the marathon is the skills build on each other. The resilience training is a pyramid -- you start with your foundation and then you build on from there."
Resilience training is offered on a monthly basis; however, participants receive a much more beneficial experience by taking the modules in order during the mar-athon, Eichner explained.
"It's really powerful when you can take it all at the same time," she said. "You really get the full effect when each one works together."
Some of the skills participants will learn about are problem solving, getting past thinking traps, and communication.
Many of the master resilience training opportunities that Eichner teaches are geared toward Soldiers and Families, but she believes it's equally important to reach out to civilian employees who work at Fort Drum.
It is a tense time for civilian employees with the possibility of furlough, and they are doing more with less. Eichner said that civilians are "unsung heroes" who play a role in almost every activity that happens at Fort Drum.
"The stronger (civilians) are -- in terms of resilience -- the stronger the mission and the stronger the post functions," she said. "If a civ-ilian employee is physically and mentally happy in his or her everyday life, then they bring that to work with them.
"Most people spend more time at work than they do at home," she continued. "If we can bring that positive attitude and share our own hope and optimism at work, it makes it a better place."
Eichner said she fully embraces master resilience training because it has positively impacted her life.
"Personally, it changed me in a very positive way," she noted. "I can't say it will do that for everybody, but it has (helped) so many (people).
"Resilience is important in (dealing with professional stress), but it also helps with everyday life," Eichner added. "It helps especially when dealing with children and relationships."
At the end of the four-day workshop, participants get to take home everything they received in the class so they can continue to practice and implement the skills they learned. People who attend the marathon should mentally prepare to come in with an open mind and be honest with themselves, Eichner said.
"This is not just four days (where) they learn some stuff and then put it on the back burner," she said. "We give them the ability to increase their resilience factor."
Employees are not required to attend all four sessions. Information covered on each day includes the following:
* Monday -- Introduction and activating event, thoughts and consequences, also known as ATC
* Tuesday -- Thinking traps, detecting icebergs and problem solving
* Wednesday -- Problem solving (continued), put it in perspective and real-time resilience
* April 25 -- Strengths, assertive communication, active constructive responding and praise
For those planning to attend the final day, participants are asked to complete and bring their VIA Strength Survey results, which can be accessed at www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu.
The training includes a one-hour lunch break. A refrigerator and microwave are available for use. For more information or to sign up for the four-day Master Resilience Marathon, call 772-0470 / 2848 / 0509.