Management Matters: Create a Place for Resilience

So many of us are feeling a bit exhausted from the ongoing disruption to our usual lives. Taking risks can feel downright foolhardy. Taking risks, however, is not about being fearless. It is about moving forward in a thoughtful and planned way even though you feel fearful.

In order to develop an ability to take risks that allows you to maximize rewards, an environment will need to be crafted that increases feelings of safety. Creating a place to share ideas, reflect on dreams, talk about your views and learn new things without the fear of looking foolish, losing the respect of others, or having it cost precious time or money.

That place CAN be created.

Resiliency skills need to be learned and increased: the ability to deal effectively with pressure, adapt to change and have an optimistic perspective. Experience can be the teacher as you slowly develop these critical skills.

People who are resilient -

  • Focus on problem solving. They don’t give up, become emotional, and focus on their unhappy feelings.
  • Concentrate on strengths they possess. This creates confidence. They review past successes, creating a good opinion of their abilities;
  • Trust their inner voice. They are able to read others well;
  • Stay flexible and adaptable in action, emotion and thought. They have back up plans -- just in case.
  • Are optimistic and pessimistic. They trust and are careful. They are humorous and serious. They are both emotional and rational.

The ability to bounce back quickly from setbacks and emerge optimistic is a way of converting misfortune into a chance for something good. Think about something that happened in your past that you consider to be one of the worst experiences and ask yourself: what did I learn from that? Why was it useful for it to happen to me?

Learning lessons from bad experiences is part of the foundation of resiliency.

So why not -

  • Learn new things as often as you can. Make it a goal.
  • Develop a core set of beliefs that (for you) are unwavering.
  • Find something to learn from stressful, challenging or traumatic events
  • Take a page from the book of someone who you think is especially resilient. What did they do and say? Can you imitate them?
  • Don’t run from things that scare you. Don’t dwell on past mistakes or beat yourself for errors you’ve made.
  • Reach out for support when things don’t go well.
  • Recognize your strengths and claim them as your own.
  • Stay upbeat. If you get stuck in a negative frame of mind, find people who can lift you out of it.
  • Have a backup plan (or a few backup plans)

We all have the potential to become more resilient. Those who leverage their hardiness can find that they become less risk averse. These are the folks who understand that a willingness to try something new, make mistakes, advocate unpopular positions or tackle very challenging obstacles that have no obvious solutions or guaranteed outcomes, is the very thing that makes risk taking increase their personal and professional success.

Nationally recognized consultant, trainer, author and professional speaker Joni Daniels is Principal of Daniels & Associates, a management consulting practice that specializes in developing people in the areas of leadership and management, interpersonal effectiveness and efficiency, skill- building, and organizational development interventions. With over 30 years of experience, she is a sought after resource for Fortune 500 clients, professional organizations, higher education, media outlets and business publications. Joni can be reached at http://jonidaniels.comb

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