Resilience has been described as “The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress… it means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.”
As businesses and organisations look to bounce back following COVID-19, the importance of resilience has seldom been more acute.
The good news is that resilience skills can be taught and fostered. Research has shown that resilience can be created by the way people interpret and frame adversity and this is a skill that can be learnt. To use a very topical analogy in this time of COVID-19, resilience is a kind of PPE! It is one of the valuable ‘protective factors’ that people need to survive and thrive.
In these challenging times, I believe that resilience training for staff should be at the heart of all business planning.
Resilience training includes many aspects but here are what I believe to be the five top factors:
Understand the nature of stress - It is important for individuals to build awareness and understanding of the nature of stress and the mental factors that govern this. This develops a greater degree of self- awareness (of both mental and physical responses to stress) which in turn can lead to improved self-regulation.
Avoid thinking traps – It is possible to learn how to recognise where your mind is distorting a situation and where negative self-talk or counterproductive thought processes may be happening. These thinking traps can then be challenged and replaced with more proactive and rational thinking patterns.
Focus on the positive – by learning how to ‘hunt the good stuff’, people can unlock positive emotions and the positive energy that brings. This can lead to a growth mindset.
Pause and step back – by learning how to pause before responding to a stressful situation, rather than simply by responding emotionally, you gain more objectivity and can respond more rationally and realistically. This can bring control to a situation.
Learn how to be flexible. Discovering how to be comfortable with change and the need to adapt to new situations is a core resilience skill. The less flexible and agile someone is in their approach, the harder they will find it to cope with new and challenging situations.
Building resilience skills across the workforce is one of the most important steps that a business can take as it seeks to increase performance. A resilient leader or employee will be better able to withstand stress, focus on finding realistic solutions and achieve business goals.