Words, like other things, can become trends and resilience, is a big buzz word. But what does it mean, and can we build resilience? Are we born with resilience or is it something we learn by watching others?
The McKinsey Report defines resilience as the ‘ability of a business to withstand, adapt, and thrive in the face of shocks that are internal and external, as well as known and unanticipated.’
We are much like a business in that our own internal resilience is the capacity we have to adapt, flex and grow from the unexpected shocks of life-from personal to environmental challenges. Our resilience is only as strong as our mental platform and the emotional scaffolding we build each time we withstand what life throws at us.
Doing The Dusty
To borrow from Brene Brown who talks about being a gladiator in life, resilience is how we cope getting in that arena, knowing we may get hurt and fail, and dusting ourselves off to try again, forge a path forward. Part of learning how to be resilient means being prepared to be courageous and brave through the toughest of times.
Doing the dusty means dusting off the doubt, fear and frustration that comes from life’s shocks and challenges. Dusty minds are slow to respond to the unexpected and sluggish to recover. Shake off the events and get back up, mentally, to try again. And again, and again. If that is what it takes.
The Choice is Yours
Resilience is not only about taking a deep mental breath and trying again, but also the choices we make in the moment. Our decision-making skills determine our response sets to life events. In every moment we can make a choice. We can allow ourselves to be buried under the weight of misfortune or events out of our control. Or we can choose to look beyond the negative impact and focus on the outcomes we have in our control. Every decision leads us in one direction or another. That is the superpower we can use. The choice to take the next step, the next thought the next action. That is what you have control over, right now.
If it is not the greatest choice, then we have the ability to make another decision to change the direction we are going in. When all around us seems in chaos, we mustn’t forget that our next move is up to us. And that move can change everything.
Traffic Light Wellbeing
Being a resilient person indicates you engage in some form of self-care and reflection. How else can you learn to grow from adversity?
One tip for developing your resilience is to have an awareness of your own strength (emotional or otherwise), and when it is dipping a bit. Using a traffic light warning system to measure the wellbeing of those around you as well as your own wellness, is a quick and easy tool to use.
For your team members, you can grade them on their capacity to manage internal and external things going on in their life or at work.
Equally, you can use this system to read how you are travelling emotionally.
RED: They/I am overwhelmed and need support.
- What can I do to help them/myself?
- What supports can I set in motion?
- What parts of their/my workload can I delegate to others?
- Have I checked in on them/myself today?
- What else can I, the team or the organisation do to support?
ORANGE: They/I have some stress but are/am not overwhelmed yet.
- I need to continue to observe and check in on their/my wellbeing.
- I need to prepare for supports or changes to help them/me should things escalate.
- I should set in motion low key actions to provide preventative support.
GREEN. Good to go.
- I/They are doing well and do not need additional support at this time.
- Encourage and reward them/myself for maintaining wellbeing and resilience.
- Identify them/myself as possible short-term mentors for others.
Tips for Building Resilience
Collect data- What is going on around, right now, that is affecting my wellbeing?
Correct thinking- Shift from fear to future.
Power Surge- Start to make choices that can move you forward, change the situation or stabilise things.
Do the dusty- fall, fail and get back up. Dust off the negative feelings and attachments and focus on what you can learn instead.
Be responsive- react with a considered and realistic mindset.
Groove Crew-Connect with your resilient teams, personally and professionally.
Build your mental platform- How have I coped in the past? What did I do? What worked?
Click here to listen to this episode and more.