What do you associate resilience with? Is it a positive or negative?
Often the need to be resilient is linked to tough or challenging times in our lives; as a result resilience can be associated with the negatives. It is a natural part of what we use to cope, to get by, to deal with the challenges life throws at us every day.
But the reality is that resilience is positive. It adds balance and counters the negatives in our lives. Could you do with some POSITIVE in your life right now? We’ve just released some free eLearning on this topic, more of which later.
We were discussing resilience during our morning virtual team meeting. One of my colleagues mentioned that at a family wedding last year he found his brother and cousins engrossed in conversation. There were 3 nurses, a fireman, a paramedic, headmaster and a teacher discussing their jobs. All high pressure roles and all, no doubt, had horror stories they could have shared. Instead, they were positive.
They enthusiastically shared their plans for the future and successes of the past, talked about recent courses they had been on, and geeked out on the new kit for their fire engine and ambulance. They were practising resilience! They weren’t passive about their situations, they had embraced them and accepted the challenge. Their training, coaching and mentoring had enabled them to become more resilient and they were inspiring.
The funny thing though is that if you give credit or appreciation to a resilient person, they often shrug it off, perhaps saying they just do what any normal person would do. How many times do you hear colleagues say “I’m just a carer”. This doesn’t mean they don’t need or value praise and recognition, but perhaps shows that praise and recognition is not what drives them. It is their inner values and standards that matter most and they instinctively know when they have done well. They have already recognised and valued their own worth. They have resilience.
But what happens when we are faced with a new situation, a challenge we haven’t prepared for or are resilient to? How do we cope then? Many services have well-established processes to monitor and support their colleagues. But they all start with a conversation, with someone making time for their colleague and perhaps asking:
- How are you feeling?
- How are you coping?
- You did really well!
This is the building block of resilience. But, just before you go, I have two questions…
When did you last talk to someone about how you are feeling?
When did you last ask your colleagues how they are feeling?
So, get out there and make time to talk – check out ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign. It’s just one more way to build our resilience and you can see that in one of the videos in the eLearning by psychologist Kelly McGonigal.
If you want to find out more about resilience and some other handy tips, then why not have a go at our free online course on Stress & Resilience.