Resilience as a core competency of today

©2019 Zoryna O’Donnell

Resilience is often defined as the ability to recover and bounce back from adversity and hardships, feeling stronger and more capable to cope than ever before.

Resilient people “roll with the punches” and deal with perceived adverse situations in a positive and creative way; transform challenge into an opportunity; and absorb any learning offered by setbacks quickly and at minimum physical and mental cost.

Resilience in itself is neither ethically good nor bad - it is just a skill and a capacity to be strong under adverse conditions of great stress and change. Yet in our fast-pacing, complex, constantly changing and unpredictable world resilience has become a core competency for everyone, and particularly for leaders and managers.

Although resilience is linked to our personality type and our genetic make-up, we can learn resilience skills and strategies that will make a remarkable difference to our professional and personal lives.

In her article How Resilience Works, Diane Coutu looked at some of the theories of resilience and concluded that they all overlap in recognising that resilient people seem to have the following key qualities:

-       A staunch acceptance of reality – the optimistic realism rather than unreserved optimism which can distort the sense of reality and create unachievable expectations.

-       A deep belief that life is meaningful, even a current hardship – the belief that puts present difficulties into prospective, allows one to rise above the sufferings of the moment, and acts as a beacon leading from present adversity to a better future.

-       An uncanny ability to improvise - the ability to make do with whatever is at hand and to mobilise help from others when they need it.

As Diane Coutu pointed out, “You can bounce back from hardship with just one or two of these qualities, but you will only be truly resilient with all three.”

If you want to find out how resilient you are to stress and adversity now, you can use a free online resilience test. Once you have completed this 50 item resilience questionnaire, your results will be provided to you, along with feedback.

Take some time to reflect on the feedback from the test and key qualities of resilient people. Ask yourself:

-       Do I have some or all of these key qualities?

-       How well are they developed?

-       What can I do to develop these qualities even more?

-       What could be my three top actions needed to develop further each one of these three qualities?

-       Who else/what else is needed to help me with these actions?

Then, create your own success strategy - a plan of actions designed to achieve your overall goal of improving your resilience.

Ask yourself:

– What actions and techniques do I chose to build up my resilience?

– How will I implement this strategy?

Record what happens when you use this strategy (actions and techniques). Amend and improve it if required after two weeks.

After applying this strategy for at least four weeks, reflect on, and record the overall effect of this strategy. Make further changes and improvements if required.

Finally, if you ever need to top up your motivation to become truly resilient, read this blog by Jon Morrow: 7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can't Move Anything but His Face.

Make an effort to develop your resilience and notice the difference it will make to all areas of your life.

This article was published on 13/08/2019

Image credit: aKs-phOtOs via Pixabay