Resilience is the key

We are continually told these are difficult and challenging times that we are currently living through. Redundancy and unemployment are increasing and we are all living with uncertainty. Every week there seems to be a new hurdle to overcome both at work and in our private lives.

I have written before about the fact that innovation can often shine through when people face adversity, and I still believe that is the case. But there is something I think people really need to ensure they have in bucket loads if they are to deal with life in 2012. That quality is resilience.

Resilience is not just about ensuring that the work you are involved in carries on regardless of the things facing the organisation. It is about having some inner strength to keep positive and focused on what you are doing when financial and other threats may be lurking round the corner. It is a quality that is particularly important for any managers trying to lead a team during these uncertain times.

I have seen many managers struggling or unable to cope with the daily grind, listening to the problems of the team, being challenged by bosses for better results at lower cost, and probably unsure whether they will still be in a job in the coming months. For some, having to explain to staff why they are being made redundant is another pressure that they face.

So, in the middle of all this how can the manager, or member of staff, keep bouncing back, keep enthusiastic and keep their resilience? I haven’t got a guaranteed way of achieving this but I have some things that help me.

1. Keep a work-life balance which should help you to recharge your batteries if work has been draining.
2. Try to focus on the positive in your life rather than dwell on problems or uncertainty.
3. Listen to staff concerns, try to help but remember you have no magic wand to help them. They are adults and are in charge of their own lives.
4. Keep making plans, but keep them flexible for the changing environment.
5. Look for the opportunities both personally and professionally and take them when they appear.

It all sounds so easy but it isn’t. We will all face those dark days when we feel there is no more to give and we have no more strength for the daily fight. Accept that will happen and then move on. Resilience is so important for me as without it the circumstances we face can become overwhelming. Perhaps it is about training ourselves for some new ways of thinking?

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