The internet is buzzing with advice on resilience, proving how important this is to all our lives as we try to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. We are juggling ever-changing demands on our lives and in our work, from home schooling that we may feel ill-equipped to deliver to finding new ways of working, competing with family members for space in our unusually crowded homes. Or maybe it is the opposite for you. Perhaps you are at home alone with little company, a peaceful haven that many would envy however maybe that is becoming too quiet now and you yearn for noise and hustle and bustle again. We all have different things to cope with.
And yet we all are striving to cope, somehow, and the practical tips provided by the blogs and articles are a good starting point. What the coronavirus pandemic has shown many of us is our innate ability to flex and to manage in adversity. Determination, a sense of unity and collaboration have all helped to see us through some of the obstacles in our path, largely through a belief that many of these changes are temporary.
Our customers are now telling us that some of the greatest challenges are yet to come for them as we adjust to new ways of working in a workplace that will continue to change for the foreseeable future. Some of these changes may be permanent and there are others that will continuously evolve. How, then, to make sure we keep moving forward, to stay focused on our goals and even to strive for more stretching achievements?
The interplay between our belief system and the language and actions we use to communicate it is a good place to start. A conscious decision to build a mindset that takes ownership and responsibility for influencing outcomes, that is resolutely optimistic, that values the learning that feedback brings and that believes in the value that we bring to the people around us can be a driving force for the actions we go on to take. Assessing the situation and understanding what we control or influence puts us back into the driving seat. And for events that are completely out of our control, managing our response provides a sense of achievement and progress.
This mindset contributes to greater openness to experience, a characteristic that keeps us creative, curious, more able to accept change, to learn and thrive. These are key aspects of resilience and help to equip us to rise to other challenges that come our way – today’s uncertainty can lead to future opportunity and growth.
To guarantee that the solution will work for us it is critical that we understand the uniqueness of our individual circumstances and ensure that the strategies we use to manage our responses to them are equally personalised. This is achievable through self-examination to find actions that we can own. One good example of this is to be clear about what we are unable or unwilling to do because this helps to protect ourselves from overwhelm and regain control.
Keeping positive, trying to think about the opportunities of our new lives, appreciating what is good and using positive language to communicate with others is the way we can demonstrate our mindset to bring others along with us, collaborate and keep others motivated too. By reframing and reordering our messages starting on the positive or constructive rather than the negative, we influence ourselves and others to keep making progress. In this way we build preparedness – capability to cope with anything that comes our way.
MGI Learning is a behavioural training business which uses practical tools and strategies known to develop resilience. The validated and embedded training methods are created by a team of experts in the fields of social sciences and organisational psychology.