This is an edited extract from Chapter 3 of ‘INTEGRATE: Why work-life balance is a myth, and what you need to create a fulfilling lifestyle’ by John Drury – click here to purchase a copy of the book.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is your ability to bounce back after a setback of any kind. It enables you to persevere through tough times, and those times when you feel you have failed. Self-respect is the foundation for resilience.
Resilience enables you to:
- Stand firm with things go against you or people disrespect you;
- Stop from turning on yourself when you feel awful
- Step back and regain perspective during tough times
- Step up with renewed determination and vision after setbacks, failure and seasons of struggle.
There are three types of challenges that require resilience:
- Random hardship or trauma
- Failure and loss due to the competitive market economy
- Failure to due to self-sabotage
The Resilience Model
Resilience takes courage to face up to painful truth and circumstances, grit to hold your course, and empathy to think and feel beyond yourself to deal appropriately with anyone else involved.
When you hit a challenge or suffer a setback in business you will be positioned for resilience when you do all you can based on three elements, shown in the Resilience Model.
- Knowledge – what you know, which comes from your training, experience, skills and available resources.
- Wisdom – what is appropriate, which is that sense of the best thing to do or say in the moment that will bring healing or closure to any situation. It comes from yourself and trusted advisors.
- Values – what is right, comes from what is important, what matters to you, and what you believe is right and wrong in the situation.
As you will see in the figure:
- at the intersection of knowledge and wisdom comes clarity.
- at the intersection of wisdom and values comes a sense of peace
- at the intersection of values and knowledge comes certainty
When you meet a challenging situation, you will be positioned for resilience if you approach it asking yourself: ‘What do I know here?’ ‘What is appropriate here?’ and ‘What do I believe is right here?’
Situation: A team member is causing relationship issues in the rest of your team.
Knowledge tells you that this person is good at their job and valuable to the team, but has poor people skills, especially under pressure. Wisdom helps you take them aside and ask if there is anything going on in their world. Values guides you to treat them with dignity and compassion and to give them a few days off to sort out the personal issue they revealed to you. Wisdom also helps you talk to them upon their return to coach them around better ways handling this in the future.
Outcome: Acting according to the Resilience Model allows you to act with clarity, certainty and peace, which positions you and the persons involved to bounce back well from what could have been a huge challenge.
Situation: Your sick child has made it impossible for you to make a few evening meetings recently, and a large client has expressed their disappointment.
Knowledge tells you that this client really wants you on the contract and appreciates your skill. Knowledge also tells you that your child’s illness is relatively short term. Wisdom guides you to speak to the client and tell them your situation, state that you are as committed as ever, just need a couple of weeks’ grace. Values tells you there is nothing more important than being there for your child and your family even if you lost the client.
Outcome: A difficult and stressful situation is made easier by applying knowledge, wisdom and values from the Resilience Model.
Situation: A prominent CEO wrongly accuses you of speaking negatively about them.
Knowledge says this person is influential and it is better to stay in their good books. Wisdom helps you to go personally and quickly to them so you can understand their problem. If they are aggressive, wisdom also guides you to take along a suitable witness. Values tells you that integrity in relationships is always important.
Outcome: The Resilience Model gives a framework for you to handle the situation and to bounce back from the associated stress even if the other person remains upset.
Transforming Tough Times into Staying Power
- Deal with the initial setback
- Hold your ground
- Be aware of your internal chatter
- Take time to process
- Take a moment, an hour or a day to absorb the shock, and process your emotions
- Seek appropriate support
- Discuss the matter with appropriate people
- Make steps to move on
- Write out what you have learned
- What would you do differently if you face this again?
- Now let it go