“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”
― Alain de Botton
It’s tempting to think that resilience is a fixed personality trait, maybe even something that we are born with. But be reassured, the ability to bounce back from failure and to cope with everyday difficulties is something that can be learned and developed by anyone.
Here are five top tips that can help you build your resilience.
Whatever our views on the outcome of the vote, one thing is for sure: the ability to be resilient in these times of change and uncertainty will put us in good stead for whatever comes next.
So what exactly is resilience? Here are some descriptions that you may find helpful.
There’s a direct connection between resilience and other qualities that we recognise as positive and desirable in people. Courage, for example, is displayed when people feel strong. And that strength is the same as the feeling of resilience to the pressures that surround you.
The connection between them is that you should maintain yourself in good condition against the everyday stresses, so that you have plenty in reserve for those heightened, high-stake moments of pressure.
1. Keep things in proportion, appropriate to the stakes. If the mistakes don’t much matter, then don’t give them excessive psychological weight. It’s a good idea to reduce needless perfectionism.
2. In a learning environment, treat mistakes lightly as a signal to have another go at succeeding or progressing. It's why we invest in simulators.
3. If you make mistakes in your organisation, it's worth saying sorry, as that builds trust and reduces excessive fear of making mistakes. It's most unfortunate, for example, that politicians cannot admit to making mistakes.
4. Value feedback - your own and other's useful stories. That sets you up to make use of feedback for fast adaptation. It’s a great improvisational and learning skill to notice how we are doing in relation to what we are aiming to do. Correct your course by spotting and quickly dealing with errors.
5. Learn from other people's mistakes - generally a list of tempting moves to avoid saves time and pain, and gets you more quickly to the ‘Success Stack’, so you can learn from what your mentor ultimately got right.
Mistakes are events you would rather have not happened (at least at the time), because the intention was to do something different, and the immediate consequence is most often unfavourable.
I like this story of a crisis handled by Hans Zeinhofer, who I met at a conference where delegates were discussing the application of solutions-focused ideas in organisations.
Save time, boost engagement and build resilience by focusing on solutions rather than problems | Janine
Talking Point: Isn't it time HR focused on solutions rather than problems? Published in Hrzone.co.uk
HR professionals often find themselves carrying our adminstrative and operational tasks that are the resonsiblity of line managers. They also end up being dragged into other people’s problems, which is both time-wasting and exhausting.
How many times have you found yourself doing something that was somebody else’s responsibility, getting bogged down in negativity and feeling tired and overburdened by other people’s issues? But if you continue down this route, it’s highly likely that over time you will be sucked dry, become marginalised and even find yourself discarded.
We heard a neat question from Emma Osei-Mensah, a speech and language therapist, at a recent meeting of our London SF group. She asked one of her patients suffering from a stammer: ‘While waiting for a cure to happen, how will you know you are living well?’
We like the way that opens up territory of coping and resilience when there may be no immediate prospect of getting rid of the unwanted circumstances. It’s the sort of question you can usefully ask even when clients state clearly and understandably that they would like to be rid of some of their circumstances.
And we can adopt that for our work in gloom-ridden organisations during a recession. How about: ‘While waiting for the economy to recover, how will you ensure your days are productive?’
What SF questions have delighted you recently?