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Building Resilience

When faced with problems or setbacks what do you do? Most people worry about it and describe it as a bad experience. It can often be the pathway to worry and ill health.

In fact if you think about it, experiences which seemed horrible at the time were actually the catalyst to something better. The worst time in my working life – when I was being bullied by a vile senior manager - was the cause of my decision to run my own business. It was scary at the time but the experience made me braver. And -hard work though it is – running the business has led to years of fulfilment, happiness and exciting opportunities.

The workplace in 2018 is relentlessly busy and developing resilience is an essential-quality While employers have always known about the personal benefits of being resilient, they haven’t always recognised that it is also needed for the sake of their team’s and the business’ health.

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.

Negative thinking can be really damaging. Anxiety can lead to exaggerated worry, irrational fear, and obsessive thoughts and in turn this has the potential to lead you towards a depressive illness.

You can learn to build your emotional resilience and to be genuinely calm when under pressure. To achieve this, you need to practice looking at the world in a new way.

A combination of factors contributes to resilience. The primary factor in developing resilience is having supportive relationships within and outside the family. Several additional factors are associated with resilience, including:

  • The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out.
  • A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.
  • Skills in communication and problem solving.
  • The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.

By taking adopting a different approach to challenges, you can re-frame your thinking and build your emotional resilience.

Everyone can develop these traits. Here are some pointers to help you cultivate this new mode of thinking.

Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion. Be clear regarding what you are about to classify as a “bad thing” and why. For example, if you did not meet your revenue goals, what about this is troublesome? Is it that your bonus will suffer? Is it that you may have to lay off staff?

Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can't change the fact that highly stressful events happen, but you can change how you interpret and respond to these events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better. Note any subtle ways in which you might already feel somewhat better as you deal with difficult situations.

Ask yourself: “Is there any possible scenario by which this could actually turn out to be a good thing?” Simply considering this question will help to make you think more positively and remove the sense of dread, which can bog down helpful responses.

Accept that change is a part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of adverse situations. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.

The final question to ask yourself is: “What can I — and my team — do to make this scenario come about? How can we turn this event into a positive?”

Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away.

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2018 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

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