What is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity and for humans, resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Resilience is thus our emotional strength and our mental toughness to handle adversity.

Psychological resilience is the ability to cope mentally or emotionally with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Resilience exists when the person uses mental processes and behaviours in promoting personal assets and protecting the self from the potential negative effects of stressors.

What does the research tell us about resilience?

According to Stress Resilient Mind there are five key stress resilience skills that we need to have and to develop:
  • Self-awareness
  • Attention – flexibility & stability of focus
  • Letting go (1) – physical
  • Letting go (2) – mental
  • Accessing and sustaining positive emotion
According to Dr Ginsburg, child paediatrician and human development expert, there are 7 integral and interrelated components that make up being resilient:
  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Character
  • Contribution
  • Coping
  • Control

According to Resilient Leaders Elements a Resilient Leader knows where they are strong and their areas for development. They know what takes them from pressure to stress and how to rebalance.

The RLE framework has 4 elements and 12 facets to explore in order to flex the resilience muscle:
  • Clarity of Direction: Strategic Intent, Unifying Purpose and Determination
  • Awareness: Self, Others and Environment
  • Leadership Presence: Authentic, Serving and Intentional
  • Resilient Decision-Making: Robust, Creative and Versatile

Why is resilience important to leaders?

Resilience is important because it gives people the strength needed to process and overcome hardship. Those lacking resilience get easily overwhelmed, and may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Resilient people tap into their strengths and support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems.

Resilient leaders have the ability to sustain their energy level under pressure, to cope with disruptive changes and adapt. They bounce back from setbacks. They also overcome major difficulties without engaging in dysfunctional behaviour or harming others.

Key Questions to Reflect on as Leader:

  • How do you manage uncertainty?
  • How do you respond in a crisis?
  • Are you confident that you can always find a way through?
  • Do you know what takes you from pressure to stress?
  • Do you know how to rebalance?

Articles

American Psychological Association

Building your resilience

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Center for Creative Leadership

Leadership Resilience: Handling Stress, Uncertainty, and Setbacks

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Everyday Health

What Is Resilience? Your Guide to Facing Life’s Challenges, Adversities, and Crises

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Forbes

Resilience In Leadership: How To Lead And Win Despite Change And Obstacles

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Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child

Resilience

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IMD

Resilient leadership: Navigating the pressures of modern working life

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Psychology Today

Resilience

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Psychology Today

Seven Skills of Resilience

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Very Well Mind

What Is Resilience?

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Books

Greitens, Eric

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

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Marco, Debbie

Life is Tough, But So Are You: Thoughtful Tips and Advice for Developing Resilience and Mental Strength

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Neenan, Michael

Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach

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Owen, Jo

Resilience: 10 habits to sustain high performance

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Pemberton

Resilience: A Practical Guide for Coaches

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Reivich, Karen

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

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Listen

The Addicted Mind Podcast

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The BeingWell Podcast

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The Positive Psychology Podcast

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The Resilience Podcast

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The Resilience Unravelled Podcast

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The Road to Resilience Podcast

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Watch

Carol Taylor

Overcoming Adversity by Building Resilience

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Denise Mai

How to Build Resilience as Your Superpower

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Gregg Steinberg

How to Fall Up

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Lucy Hone

The Three Secrets of Resilient People

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Raphael Rose

From Stress to Resilience

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Sam Goldstein

The Power of Resilience

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What People Say

If you are looking to work with someone who has an infectious passion for making positive change happen, you will love working with Hannah. She has a wealth of experience at a senior leadership level and is hugely committed to the diversity agenda. I have benefitted personally from Hannah’s wisdom and guidance on these issues on a number of occasions.

Andy Buck

Founding DirectorLeadership Matters

When it comes to authentic and courageous leadership, Hannah is unbeatable. Her value-driven approach allows her to be precise and focused whilst taking an empathic approach. One of the leadership traits I admire the most in Hannah is her commitment to asking the difficult questions that others avoid, and this has been evident in her work encouraging Diverse Leaders. She is fearless and highly skilled at driving change, even in complex situations. Hannah is a catalyst and can cause a mindset shift in one conversation. Her leadership creates leaders.

Jaz Ampaw-Farr

Author & Speaker

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