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Personal Resilience

In a work context, personal resilience is the ability to cope with problems and challenges faced each workday.  If left unchecked, these can accumulate to the point where we can no longer function adequately.  

Each of us deals with negative pressure (stress) in a different way.  For some, problems are seen as a terrible challenge while for others the same situation is simply challenging.  This is due to many factors including biological, familial, environmental, and personal.  However, some generalisations can be made which will assist everyone.

Working from the most important, the themes that underpin our workshops include:

  • Optimism – Holding negative beliefs is a barrier to overcoming difficulties; optimists put negative events behind them and look to the positive aspects. 
  • Adaptability – The most important aspect of resilience, how easily we adapt to a changing environment.
  • Thoughts, attitudes and beliefs – the most important aspect of communication, how we perceive something may influence our reaction to an event.
  • Self-awareness – Those who are more self-aware have a greater ability to predict how they will behave in any situation.
  • Self-control – People with poor self-control tend to work impulsively and later regret their hasty decision.
  • Empathy – The awareness of others is important for reducing stress during communications.
  • Positive emotions – Turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts reduces stress.
  • Sociability – People who are competent at socialisation are more likely to develop awareness of others.
  • Conscientiousness – Being well organised, having a sense of duty, being part of a team, and self-disciplined behaviour all reduce stress.
  • Intelligence and problem solving ability – Those with higher intelligence and better problem-solving skills may figure out a solution quickly yet still feel anxious.

To a large extent, our brains are hard-wired to seek out negative thoughts as a way of protecting us from danger, it is linked to our fight or flight response.  We can control these thoughts through physiological and psychological actions and reframing thus we can change our thought patterns and our behaviour as a consequence. 

Emotions play the most important part in our behaviour.  Negative emotions put us into a state of alertness, positive emotions calm us.  Anger invokes our desire for attack or revenge hence the reason people shout.  By understanding the varying emotional reactions to an event we can learn to control people much easier. 

The end result is a stronger employee who will be fully engaged. 


    References:

    Lopez, S., Pedrotti, J., & Snyder, C. (2015). Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths. Sage, Los Angeles.

    Cotton, D. (2014). Managing Difficult People in a Week. Hodder Stoughton, London.

    Cooper, C., Flint-Taylor, J., & Pearn, M. (2013). Building Resilience for Success: a Resource for Managers and Organizations. Palgrave MacMillan, New York.

    Webb, Liggy. (2013). Resilience. How to cope when everything around you keeps changing. Capstone Publishing, West Sussex.

    Joseph, J. (2011). What Doesn’t Kill Us: The New Psychology of Posttraumatic Growth. Basic Books, New York.

    Southwick, M., & Charney, S. (2012). Resilience: The Science on Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges. Cambridge University Press, London.

    Evans-Howe, S. (2013). Managing Stress at Work in a Week. Hodder Stoughton, London.

    Spackman, Dr K. (2009). The Winners Bible: Rewire Your Brain for Permanent Change. The Winners Institute, Atlanta.

    Bourne, M., & Bourne, P. (2012). Successful Change Management in a Week. Hodder Education, London.

    Blanchard K., & Johnson, S. (2011). The One Minute Manager. Harper Collins, London.

    Carnegie, D. (2006). How to Win Friends and Influence People. Vermillion, United Kingdom.

    Green, W. (2012). 50 Things You Can do Today to Manage Stress. Summersdale, West Sussex.

    Anderson, A. (2004). The Complete Idiots Guide to Body Language. Penguin, New York.

    Harvey, C. (2012). Successful People Skills. CPI Group, Croydon.

    McKenna, P. (2011). I Can Make You Happy. Transworld, London.