How to Develop Your Resilience
How to Develop Your Resilience
Despite the image, I’m not talking about strength training in the gym. Whilst exercise is really important for health and well-being, a strong mind is even more important than a muscular body. 2021 continues to present an array of challenges, from a national lockdown and the associated need to work from home, at the same as working parents juggle home schooling. Despite vaccines providing some hope, for many it is unlikely to be a game changer for some time.
Leaders and managers continue to grapple with the impact of Covid-19, on top of BAU. With sickness absence levels reportedly rising due to the coronavirus, it’s no surprise that increasingly one of the key Leadership and ManagementCompetencies I continue to work on with clients during Executive Coaching, Career and Outplacement Coaching and Resilience Coaching is developing Resilience.
Resilience is the ability to ‘maintain effective work in the face of set-backs or pressure, to remain calm, stable and in control of emotions and behaviour under pressure, to bounce back quickly from set-backs, to tolerate conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity, and to remain optimistic.’
Some people are naturally more resilient than others and appear to have the mental toughness to cope with pressure, adversity and major set-backs and to recover more quickly. The stages we tend to experience after a major set-back as we travel along the Change Curve, are denial, anger, disorientation, acceptance and renewal. In order to recover from these stages more quickly and cope better with key life events and Change, it is important to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening, to identify and challenge the negative thoughts, channel the anger, create and implement a personal vision with goals, and seek out your support network.
Resilience Coaching and Stress Management Training can decrease sickness absence levels from between 33% - 60%; this holistic and preventative approach has been used effectively by the US military since 2009. Resilience can be developed by honing a variety of skills:
1. Cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude and challenge negative beliefs. After a bad outcome ask yourself: What were the thoughts that were going through my head and how were they preventing me from doing what I wanted to do? Identify how others responded to your actions and behaviour? What could you have done differently or better? Remember the words of Henry Ford: ‘If you think you can or think you can’t you’re right.’
2. Become more assertive and learn to say ‘No’ if you are already feeling overwhelmed by work or personal issues.
3. Develop your Emotional Intelligence by learning how to identify and manage your emotions, motivate yourself, boost your confidence, build effective relationships, and influence people. If you can identify what you are thinking then you will be able to retrain your thoughts in a more positive and productive direction.
4. Manage Stress: Make healthy lifestyle choices: get more sleep, exercise and limit caffeine intake.
5. Problem Solve: if possible try to address one problem at a time, identify its root cause and why it’s an issue, then explore possible solutions and options listing pros and cons of each one.
6. Avoid procrastination by making decisions: even if a decision ends up being the wrong one accept that we all make mistakes and move on.
7. Managing Conflict: to build better working relationships was the most important issue for 43% of CEOs recently surveyed by Stanford Graduate School of Business. 40% of UK employees said they experienced an interpersonal dispute with a colleague recently, so being able to identify and deal with potential conflict situations and handle objections effectively will lead to an improved working culture and a more resilient attitude.
8. Develop techniques to Manage Change: understand that individuals resist change due to disagreement, not being consulted, involved or empowered, being put outside their comfort zone or having a lack of resources to cope. And realize that you may experience shock, denial, blame and confusion, but that over time you will be able to accept the change, make decisions, problem solve, learn and ultimately be in a better situation.
9. Use Creative Visualization like professional athletes do to achieve successful outcomes, such as mentally preparing for meetings or a range of different scenarios. Plan what you will say, how you may react and how to address possible objections, then analyze the results to alter and improve your approach next time.
Although times are tough, to be psychologically strong to deal with the demands of this year, keep working on:
- managing your anxiety
- controlling what you can control
- creating a work/life balance
- overcoming the Winter Blues
- keeping motivated
- improving your Self-care
Stay safe, stay positive.