April 12, 2021 Culture

At one time or another, we all experience setbacks in life.

Some of these challenges might be minor, such as not winning a tennis game, whilst others can be major and life changing, like a death in the family or redundancy from your job. Dealing with change or loss is an inevitable part of life, but how you react and deal with these events can affect your personal and workplace experiences.

Have you ever been in a high-pressure situation and wondered how some people can remain calm? People who have the skill to remain level headed are said to be resilient in that they utilise their skills and strengths to cope with and recover from problems and challenges that they face. Those who lack resilience skills may instead become overwhelmed in such events, dwelling on the problems faced and turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

It is worth noting that being resilient does not eliminate life’s difficulties and stress, but instead gives you a state of wellbeing and presence of mind to tackle problems head on, inspire others, overcome issues and move forward.

For some people, resilience is a skill that comes naturally, usually due to personality traits that help to keep them unflustered in the face of a challenge. The good news is that if resilience is a skill you, like a lot of us, need to work on there are ways you can develop your coping mechanisms such as learning to embracing change as a natural part of life, working on your problem solving skills and at times having difficult conversations.

How you view adversity and stress strongly affects your ability to perform well in a job, making this one of the most important reasons to focus on developing this capability. We all fail or experience times of high stress from time to time, it’s an inevitable part of life. How you cope with these challenges and stress can help build your resilience skills. Coping strategies can help you deal with stress and maintain a sense of control when life around you may be chaotic and unpredictable.

Try coping strategies such as:

  • Taking time out to relax by doing an activity that you enjoy and find calming
  • Doing some exercise or meditation
  • Celebrating the achievement of your goals as you work through a challenge or stressful situation
  • Keeping a record to reflect your thoughts and feelings, and reflect on what you might do differently next time
  • Have a coffee with a friend or mentor who is external to your situation. You can use this time to talk through your situation, or to talk about other things entirely

At the organisational level, there is strong evidence to indicate that resilient, healthy and happy employees are highly engaged, drive quality, improve retention, increase customer satisfaction and profitability.

At a personal level, building resilience enables you to better cope with challenging situations and improves your mental wellbeing during these situations. For example, have you ever observed a leader who, in a crisis, starts screaming, shouting, and acting flustered and out of control? Chances are you stopped listening and so did not inspire you help solve the issue or come up with creative solutions. T

he more you develop and work on your resilience skills, the easier it is for you to cope with adversities and stress in life. In return your team, and those around you, will find your calm and considered approach to difficult or challenging situations to be a positive leadership attribute and ensures you are able to extract the best from yourself and others.

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