Resilience Part 1: What do we mean?

Do you like “Resilience” as a term? And recognise the need to “build resilience” in yourself and in your team? Some people don’t like the word…

The traditional definition is usually something like this:

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

The trouble is, this has a tendency to set us in a “victim” mindset. The implication is that work and life are full of setbacks and nastiness, that we need to be ready for. It primes our subconscious thinking that things will be tough. Thus making it more likely they will be.

So lets look at it another way.

Slightly reframed definition:

Resilience is the capacity to recognise the majority of difficulties as normal, and the possession of a mindset and collection of approaches to handle complexity and challenge positively and pro-actively.

So for me…

Building resilience is about setting your mindset away from “victim” (by recognising that complexity and challenge are normal) and towards a “responsibility” to deploy best effort to sort things out as they arise.

Building resilience is about recognising where you are on a sickness-wellness-fitness continuum in terms of your underlying mental health, your physical wellbeing, and your capacity for engaging with complicated issues. And taking steps to move yourself towards, or keep yourself in, the “fitness” end of the spectrum.

Building resilience is about prioritising your efforts, ensuring you have time and space to handle trouble when it arises and that you make time for the things that make you you.

Building resilience in your team is about noticing where people are in terms of all of the above, supporting them while they think about themselves in these terms and providing whatever help you can as they implement strategies to improve.

These are the things I’m going to write about in this series.

Part 2 coming soon…