The Resilience Engine approach is based on our ten years of leading research and practice in the field. It is real-world, practical, inspiring and scalable. We have ten principles for enabling resilience in your organisation. This article will concentrate on going from tricky to straightforward.
Principle 1: From tricky to straightforward
In many organisations, resilience is an icky subject. There is the assumption that resilience is about coping, and that if people aren’t coping, the reasons are very personal and difficult. Emotional.Psychologically tricky.This leads to people hiding how they actually are in their resilience, and in turn, that’s dangerous. Too much inside/outside disconnect leads to fragmentation or breakdown.
From the Resilience Engine research, we know that resilience is dynamic. it will shift up and down depending on context. The reasons for lower resilience in any moment or day are often straightforward. Its only sometimes that they in the deep, icky zone:
- The reason for emotional overwhelm is most often because people are weary but still under pressure to perform. The reasons aren’t about deep emotional issues at all; they are about pacing, energy and perspective. All these elements are part of the Adaptive Capacity1 of The Resilience Engine®. These three elements all can be changed within the moment, day or week by the individual. And they can be well supported in this by their managers and leaders.
- Sometimes the reason for the down is the lack of connection to meaning. It can literally be because the person is overwhelmed that they can’t see the meaning. Or it can be because they are not giving themselves the right to connect to their meaning day to day, instead reacting to all the day to day demands from other people. Meaning; it’sgood to foster for real.
- And the last, the deeper reasons for the downs of resilience. These can indeed be triggered by events such as ill-health or death. Or when your resilience is hijacked. Like needing to rescue people and therefore saying yes to stuff that you shouldn’t be doing. Or avoiding tension or discomfort for fear of being disliked. Or being the hero figure, who can do it all.Often people know these gremlins in themselves. It’s working with them they don’t do. They can be enabled safely to do so by themselves, without the need for counselling or therapy. These are only icky if the person is avoiding knowing their own gremlins, yet still being held hostage by them – that’s the stuff for resilience experts to help with.
The bottom line?That single definition of resilience as the capacity for change takes it away from the definition of strength, toughness, or where it gets caught most within organisations, when someone is emotionally overwhelmed and apparently unable to cope. The reasons for overwhelm are most often practical reasons that are addressable by the person, with the support of the organisation. Only very rarely can’t someone actually bolster their resilience in the moment.
That means you can make resilience much more straightforward in your organisation. So why not shift resilience out of the icky bucket? Making it part of the conversation around the place. Talk about what shifts it up and down. Enable people to connect with it, learn it. Support that as a manager and leader.
It will lead to higher performance whilst supporting wellbeing.
Why wouldn’t you start the resilience conversation right now?
Find out more about how The Resilience Engine can help your organisation here.
Footnote: 1. Adaptive Capacity. The fuel in your Resilience Engine® that connects your internal potential to your external meaningful goals. Without fuel, the Resilience Engine® runs dry.
Author: Jenny Campbell, CEO of The Resilience Engine