Resilience – Calm and Wisdom in a Crisis. 5 Ways to Build Your Resilience


Life was never meant to be easy. How often do we hear that? Our elders, companions, peers and advisors keep bringing out that old cliqué. Even our politicians in Australia use it often to herald a tough budget.

We also live in a time of rapid change – it seems nothing much is stable in our world any more. From rapid updates to software and apps, changing the way that they appear to work, to economic conditions. From changes in the stability in our jobs to the rules and regulations applying to the sector that we work in. From a stable personal life, to one undergoing a great deal of change.

Be resilient, don’t let it get to you. Wise advice indeed, but how do we build our resilience and ride through those difficult time? Is it something that we are born with, or can we develop our resilience with a little bit of focus and attention?

The good news is, we can work on developing it.

What is Resilience?

There are a range of definitions of Resilience, and the term does not only apply to people.

For example, when resilience applies to objects it can be defined as: The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity;

When it applies to businesses it has been defined as: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

And when applied to people it might be stated as: Resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully in the face of difficulties and stresses, threats or disaster.

A Quality or a Skill?

Because I think of resilience as an inner quality rather than a skill, I word it this way:

Resilience is the ability to move quickly into a new environment or context created by change, to display calmness and wisdom during the transition, and to find and communicate security and happiness in the new circumstances.

Resilient Businesses

For businesses, the definition is very similar. There is a thought that if an organisation is staffed with resilient people, the company itself is more likely to succeed. You can see the logic behind that statement, especially when we look at the next section below (The Five Resilient Qualities of Leaders).

Therefore, my definition is:

Organisational Resilience is the ability to move quickly into a new environment or context created by change, to maintain calmness and display wisdom during the transition, and to find and communicate stability, viability, sustainability and profitability in the new circumstances. 

The Five Resilient Qualities of Leaders

Resilience is a critical leadership behaviour. A resilient leader has the ability to remain calm in a crisis, to maintain a correct perspective on events, and to be able to calm and motivate others. The five qualities that mark resilient leadership are:

  1. Self Awareness, and awareness of the motivations and traits others
  2. Knowledge of their own core values and how to use these in decision making
  3. Integrity and consistency of behaviour, based on their own core values
  4. Analytical ability and the ability to think and act strategically
  5. An ability to ride the storms of life and of business with a sense of sureness and calm

Five Practices of  Resilient People that You can Do Too

  1. Maintain a greater perspective of the bigger picture, and see changes as part of life’s rich tapestry
  2. In the midst of daily hassles, keep one eye fixed on the horizon, on the end goal
  3. Maintain an optimistic presence and a confidence that everything will work out and the goals will be met
  4. Develop a strong sense of personal values, and an inner compass that allows you to step back and reflect on the bigger picture
  5. Make choices that expand, rather than constrict, people, business and life.

Assessing Resilience

Are  you looking for a reliable assessment of resilience for your organisation or your team, or perhaps for yourself? Call us. We are Accredited Expert Solution Providers for Harrison Assessments and can help measure and develop resilience for people and businesses.

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