Resilience is often mistaken merely as the ability to bounce back, but it is so much more. There are two key themes that are not immediately evident from the usual resilience definitions. The first is that resilience is not just reactive. It is also crucially proactive, which means managing risk in advance, learning from the experience of others, and actively preventing personal disruptions.
Second, resilience is not just about coming back to where you were before, but instead using each setback as an opportunity to advance towards a larger goal and purpose.
Resilience is an increasingly essential skill to have in today’s climate of change. First, it was IQ (Intelligence Quotient), then it became EQ (Emotional Quotient). Now there is increased importance on RQ (The Resilience Quotient).
People of all ages and all life stages frequently need these skills. As change accelerates, people need the mental skills to thrive despite adversity. There are six domains that we focus on to build lasting resilience, and they are:
|Vision – Goals, self-worth, personal values|
|Tenacity – being optimistic through adverse situations and dealing with ambiguity through persistence.|
|Health – Exercising regularly, eating whole, nourishing food and sleeping well.|
|Reasoning – Being resourceful, adapting to change and problem solving.|
|Collaboration – Working with others, in work and life, creating networks of support.|
|Composure – Regulating and understanding emotions. Learning techniques to cope with stress.|
How does Resilience help individuals
It’s easy to let difficulty keep us down. It isn’t easy to stay afloat when the waters are rocky, and it’s okay to feel that struggle. Resilience is associated with toughness. Part of being tough means admitting to difficulty and working through it instead of ignoring it.
When you practice the skills that go into being resilient, you’ll notice positive changes in your life. Bouncing back from adversity doesn’t mean that things will get back to normal, but that they will get to an even better place.
By developing your resilience you will:
- build your confidence
- be able to turn change into opportunity
- gain personal insight
- build stronger relationships
- bring goals into reach and
- connect with meaning
Resilience strengthens motivation and drive. You’ll begin to feel more empowered when you practice resilience skills. For example, being able to look at a situation objectively will help you take more responsibility for your happiness. You are strengthening your confidence and willingness to take risks.
Resilient people make good leaders. Part of being resilient means knowing what you can do and being transparent about areas where you struggle. Good leaders can admit when they need extra support. Strengthening resilience will increase your ability to problem-solve and ask for direction.
Self-awareness and self-motivation increase when resilience increases. Knowing yourself means knowing when too much is on your plate and when you need to take a break. Setting boundaries with people, work, and yourself will get easier as you practice resilience skills.
Improving resilience will build your ability to accept the truth of what life throws your way. You’ll always know that things will get better, and you’ll find that you worry less about the worst-case-scenario.
How does Resilience help organisations
By looking at the neuroscience of the human brain, we find that increasing uncertainty presents a particular challenge. It violates one of our basic needs – the need for control – resulting in a reduction of employee engagement. However, neuroscience also gives clues that can help us rethink how we can prepare our people for this age of disruption.
It is worth remembering that someone’s resilience capacity is not constant throughout life. We can improve our resilience, and our resilience can be worn down. Whether it gets worn down due to the environment and external events or through internal negativity, the fact is, no one is invincible. As resilience improves, we gain a natural resistance against being worn down, although a toxic environment will eventually get to us. Which is worth keeping in mind as the work environment is where many people spend most of their time, meaning it has a crucial influence on their resilience.
The benefit is not just to the organisation, but to individuals themselves. Resilience increases their sense of safety at a subconsciousness level, improving relationships, goal achievement. A sense of purpose and overall sense of wellness and translates into greater compassion and empathy at a societal level, highlighting how an organisation drive for resilience can have a profound global impact. Cultivating resilience, therefore, represents a significant long-term opportunity.
By developing your organisation’s resilience culture, you should see:
- A reduction in absenteeism
- A decrease in presenteeism
- An increase in staff retention
- Improved productivity and flexibility
- Increased engagement and work satisfaction
- Improved communication, collaboration and innovation
- The development of a shared mindset
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