By Damian, Effective Challenge
Prompted by a recent lecture I gave at a London university I have been focusing on a subject that comes up consistently when working with people across a range of different settings. That subject is resilience. So what is resilience? A dictionary definition is the “ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions”. In my experience I think this is fair. Given that the number of challenges coming our way is typically faster than we are able to deal with, I’m not surprised that people are striving to find ways to help them respond more effectively. Here are three broad areas to consider when thinking about your own resilience.
- Establishing personal foundations
- Achieving clarity
- Making the most of the
Personal foundations. I use a model I’ve developed over a number of years called PRIME. This is about considering what you can do to improve the quality of your: Physical well-being, Rest, Intake (food and drinks), Mind and Emotions. Each one of these is a big subject in its own right. The premise is that by taking a proactive approach in each of these areas we give ourselves a solid foundation on which to deal with the world. In isolation no one thing will give or increase resilience. However, when combined getting these basic areas covered effectively will have a real positive impact. There’s more background to PRIME here.
Achieving clarity. Again, a big subject in its own right. I’ve picked out some examples to illustrate the point.
- Clarity over your desired aiming point. Often our resilience is adversely impacted when we have not put the effort into understanding what we want to achieve. So when presented with challenges we haven’t got a sufficient aiming point with which to reference the situation we find ourselves in. The net result is often confusion, anxiety and stress. This doesn’t just apply to the big picture stuff. It can relate to a lack of clarity over the day-to-day things too, like attending a meeting where another participant is challenging you. Time invested to establish the desired aiming point will payback many times over.
- Clarity over what winning and success mean to you (or your team). We live in a world where things are constantly being compared to others. You only have to look at the league tables associated with education if you want a tangible example. I’d always push people to define what success looks like for them. A big factor in this is establishing your start-point. Armed with both these pieces of information you are able to put an effective plan in place to help you make progress. With the plan monitored and adjusted regularly to take account of changes in circumstances, it will become easier to maintain motivation and get energised by what you achieve.
- Clarity over your roles. This is based around the Stephen Covey concept that we all fulfill different roles in life. Assessing on a regular basis how satisfied you are in each role helps bring objectivity and the ability to make informed choices about where you put your effort. Here’s an objective assessment template to get you started.
Constants. My example of this is a series of reminders and questions we can use to help us navigate situations no matter what the setting. I’d encourage you to personalise these, write them down and remind yourself of them regularly. Here are some examples to get you started:
- I can only do my best (my best can get better).
- Little it permanent (typically, setbacks are temporary).
- Things are not always in my control (I choose to invest my energy in the things I can influence).
- I prefer to do well (as opposed to I must).
- How important is ‘this’ on a scale of one to ten (where 10 is death)?
- I’ve dealt with challenges successfully in the past (what do I need to do now)?
Which of the three areas could you make most progress with over the next 30 days? I’m always interested in how you get on. If you would like more information or support with your resilience please reach out to me: firstname.lastname@example.org