Resilience: The art of excelling

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resilience (noun)

  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

You have the opportunity to create a safe, supportive, and creative environment for your team. We definitely aren't robots who can just switch 'life' off when we get to work. Allowing us all to show and understand the experiences of our colleagues creates an environment for us to excel. Sharing our failures, practising active listening (here) and using emotional intelligence (here) is an excellent way to engage and facilitate a productive workplace.

Are you resilient?

Resilient people excel in challenging times. It's vital for change. Especially in our ever-changing and evolving work environments. The better you become at understanding and effecting change. The better manager and leader you will be.

Life can change our perspective.  Life-experiences open opportunities to question our place in this world and reconstruct our beliefs/attitudes, for example, when my mother attempted suicide it felt like my world came crashing down. My relationships suffered. I was in the middle of exams and found it difficult to concentrate. I became isolated and scared about the future. It was only by talking to people around me and questioning my perspective that I could really push through this darkness and see I could create networks which supported me.

Resilience isn't about ‘coping’ with a situation. It’s about helping you recognise pathways for improvement and being open to constructive feedback from those that surround you. Yup, it's about being accessible, communicating challenges and being vulnerable.

What strategies can you put in place to increase and support your own resilience?

  • Understand your own stories a life-experiences. How do they shape your worldview?
  • Know your boundaries. 
    I wasn’t just going to talk about my challenges with anyone. I could cry at a moments notice. I choose when to share this story. It doesn’t define me. 
  • Cultivate self-awareness. 
    Exercise mindfulness. It increases our ability to produce accurate judgments, more insightful problem-solving, and decreases workplace stress (read more here).
  • Take breaks. 
    Pay attention to when you are most productive and when you feel sluggish. Can you change up your work to support these cycles? 
  • Be compassionate
    Shit happens. Showing your colleagues that you can understand creates excellent work relationships, and increases cooperation and collaboration (read the research here)
  • Make the problem smaller. 
    Think about what is going well and notice that the challenge isn’t ‘everything.' It’s a lot smaller than you think. Now identify what the problem is (and isn’t). Break it down into smaller bite-sized chunks. Create small goals you have to achieve, and it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and helps you persist.
  • Maintain a positive outlook. 
    “Something went wrong” vs. “it’s unexpected and an opportunity to learn”. Look for lessons in the unexpected and reframe failure to f'learning (learning through failure).
  • Debrief with your mentor. 
    Mentors experience personal challenges. They know what has worked for them, and can give you the advice to overcome negativity and maintain a positive outlook on life.

You have the power to ignite small changes in those around you. Starting with small steps you can build a workplace and a team that supports, collaborates, and slays together.

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