How resilience coaching makes the difference

By Jenny Campbell|July 13, 2020|Being Resilient, Enabling the Resilient Organisation, Leading the Resilient Organisation, Resilience Coaching|

What is the difference between resilience and normal executive coaching? Two main things:

  1. Being able to be aware of the client’s resilience defines very clearly their capacity for change. That means it can help you as the coach set expectations for yourself and the client.
  2. Given whatever start point the client has, knowing the key things for their resilience needs, for that exact start point, helps sift through the masses of options that you have as a coach. Resilience is a priority for all change and therefore for coaching

Read this client story.

Our coach worked with a senior Director in Academia, in an institute considering a merger with another academic institution. The Director has led his division through a difficult time already, and now was facing a much bigger issue of merger. For many complex relational and Board issues, the context of the organisation was a toxic one. There were SO many difficulties – financial, industry changes, people’s motivation was low, all areas were under heavy scrutiny, trust issues prevalent everywhere. The client felt very responsible for ensuring that his area came out ok at the end of blood letting.

In the first coaching session, there were so many questions, both client and coach found it all overwhelming. Where to start the work?

The thing that stood out from a resilience point of view was that the client was very, very tired. That meant they had little capacity for change. And ethically the coach knew this and knew that energy was the key to unlock the client’s resilience.

Checking this out as the first step in the coaching changed everything for the client in the next year of work. The coaching work was all about Adaptive Capacity1 – Energy, Pacing and Perspective. No business strategy was discussed without work on these fundamental resilience factors.

One year on, the client was caring for themselves, had entirely embraced his energy needs (‘I really believe in this resilience stuff’ were his actual words), and was leading the merger conversation, openly, wisely and with great clarity. His goals for his people and organisation were being met as best as possible within such a complex situation. But most of all, the client had the sustained resilience to keep going and not just see the challenge as a short-term one -in fact the coaching, and the merger, took a further two years to sort.

Two years on from that original period and the client continues to talk about and invest in their resilience. Proactively they take time out to connect with their research interests, connect widely and often with stakeholders, and most critically, ensure good boundaries between work and home. In the day to day, they notice if they get hijacked by particular old issues or behavioural patterns, and can interrupt these quickly. This attention to their Resilience River© is very simple but very effective.


The Resilience Engine aims to make resilience accessible to everyone by equipping organisations with an internal resilience capability. Our clients can create cohorts of internal resilience coaches via our Resilience Accreditation Programme. Our next open programme is February 2021; we will be launching a Corporate version of this in the Autumn of 2020.

Clients also deploy our online services that give managers and their teams tools to support and extend resilience. Starting from £1+VAT per staff member, our extremely accessible pricing help organisations scale up.

Resilience is one of the key topics for now and 2021. Get in touch to learn how we can help you.

The Resilience Engine team


  1. Adaptive Capacity is part of The Resilience Engine® research model, which explains how to build resilience.
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