I am hooked on resilience as an essential set of necessary leadership, management and employee skills and approaches.
Why? Each week I encounter more people who are not getting the support they need, and have not had or taken the opportunity to develop their thinking and behaviour in order to manage the difficult situations they face. I also meet and work with growing numbers who have not only come through very demanding, tough and emotionally challenging scenarios, but have learnt, grown and thrived as a result of their experience. I want, as I am sure you do, to support more people to have this thriving experience.
When I moved into the pressure arena, I attempted to help cure the world by supporting people when they were in dire straits and really suffering chronic stress. At the point where their own resources were unable to deal with the pressures they faced. I soon realised that they usually needed long-term professional support by this stage.
My focus then shifted to devising ways of learning to do the right things to prevent these stress conditions. The first part of this process is to catch the signs of pressure and act at an early stage. Secondly, notice when these conditions changed or worsened. Thirdly, extend the range of coping tactics we use to hold ground, retain energy and keep going. Finally, target the causes of pressure and take specific action.
This process means that we learn to survive, get through a week remaining sane, and have the energy to do things we enjoy in our lives. Then it hit me, what about people who didn’t just survive, but actually developed and flourished when the going got tough?
The answer appears to be that these people have an ability - throughout the pressure process - to choose from and flexibly use a range of strategies and approaches that strengthen resolve, help us to deal with difficult situations and to learn from these tough experiences. This means we can all learn to be resilient.
In fact, we can use the all learning gathered from how we get through setbacks, what we do to remain healthy, and continuously look for improvement. We then evolve a positive mind and skill-set that enables us to completely manage and achieve great outcomes, whatever is thrown at us.
From expert research and our own experience and anecdotal evidence, we identified six elements that make the biggest difference for individuals and groups, when they are under pressure. These elements come into their own in certain conditions:
- when we are stuck, uncertain about which route to take, do not understand what is expected or where our focus should be, we seek clarity of PURPOSE, focus and overall direction.
- when we have run out of ideas, are repeating patterns that are no longer working or need a fresh approach, we look to the SUPPORT network and relationships we have built, belong to, and maintained.
- when we have run out of energy, lost impetus with a task, and become demotivated we search the resources in our bank of DETERMINED yet FLEXIBLE recharging strategies.
- when we are low on confidence or our self-esteem has taken a blow, we can reframe using our POSITIVE OPTIMISTIC mind-set.
- when we are experiencing chaos, confused in our thinking, and doing too much, we can tap into our SELF-DEVELOPMENT tactics to plan and organise a controlled way forward.
- when we don’t know how we are doing or feel lethargic we can search our SELF-AWARENESS approaches using feedback, to perceive the world differently and take better care of ourselves.
These six elements enable us to accept & embrace change, deal effectively with high-demand workloads, contribute massively to building a more supportive culture, and promote individual and group responsibility for continuous learning.
What do you want for yourself and your colleagues, survival or THRIVAL?
To learn more about a one day programme on Building Resilience run by Bruce please take a look at his module, taken from the renowned 3gHR Circle Management Development Programme. Download the details HERE