Building resilience 6: Comments round up

Having finished what I wanted to say about Resilience, I thought it worth picking up on some of the great comments on the posts. 

The second post in the series was about setting your mindset away from “why is this happening?” and towards “what are we going to do?”. 

Steve commented along the lines that in high pressured environments, places in which safety and security, or millions of pounds, are genuinely on the line, the need to set your mindset this way is obvious. And so not that helpful really. 

Which is fair enough. But in some ways, it is where the lesson comes from. Emergency services in the middle of a multiple location incident don’t waste time wishing that the second fire hadn’t started. They prioritise, work out what they’re going to do and then get on and do it as best they can. 

Now. If this keeps happening over and over, something has to give. Emergency services, air traffic control, other critical systems units, set themselves up with shift patterns and rules that limit individual exposure to relentless pressures. 

Some of us have to do that ourselves though. 

Lyndsey commented that she often sees people who think they’re being resilient but are really just in “endurance” mode. Ploughing on, despite signs that a break is what is needed above all else. 

She’s so right when she says: Resilience is NOT endurance. 

Sometimes the answer to: What am I going to DO about it? is just… Stop. Breathe. Go home. Rest. Come back to it tomorrow. 

And as I said in Part 4 of the series on working your priorities, the stuff that makes you you, the stuff that recharges your batteries and resets your mindset is always important. And very rarely urgent. 

Whether it’s time with your kids, knitting, exercise, your special show you share with a friend or spouse… Make being you-you (not just work-you) a priority. 

The last comment I’ll reference was from Ellie on the important-urgent matrix mentioned in the post on priorities. She noted that sometimes everything is sitting in the “important and urgent” corner and mapping this out makes things feel more overwhelming. 

This is worth a post in itself. There are several things to do here. But for now I’ll offer one thought. 

You can only ever do one complicated thing at a time. So faced with a long list of “important and urgent” things, go through again and try to pick out the three MOST important and urgent things. Then go through THAT list and pick ONE to work on. Set yourself a short achievable goal, and work it. Then do the same with number two. Then again with number three. 

You’ll have identified a set of priorities and made progress. 

If you have trouble determining the most important, because they’re all important, just pick. You have to work on something. So choose and move it forward. 

You may not be able to change the tide of events that buffet you as you try to lead. But…

Set your mindset towards positive next-steps. 

Proactively manage your mental wellbeing. 

Make sure you’re working your priorities. 

And help your team do these things too. 

Work in this way and you’ll be building a firm foundation of resilience that will help you take things in stride and keep moving forwards. 

Thanks for reading this series and for the brilliant comments that have really made me think. 

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