According to our Chief Behavioral Scientist, Gabe De LaRosa, one way to think about resilience is like putting air in a basketball. If you’re resilient, when you hit the ground, you bounce. When you’re not, you go “splat.” Some refer to resilience as the ability to bounce back from stress and adversity. Gabe encourages us to “bounce forward” from our experiences, internalize the lessons learned, and increase our resilience for the future.
The good news for all of us is, while there are many factors that influence our current capacity, resilience is not a fixed quantity in any of us. Just like running more miles prepares you for a marathon, there are things we can do to increase our own resilience.
When we are stressed at work, we can leverage the three Cs of resilience: challenge, control, and commitment. People who view stress as a challenge rather than a threat also see it as an opportunity for growth and a part of life. Focusing on your areas of control can give you a sense of empowerment and allow you to let go of things you cannot control, such as the external pressures of stress or other people’s actions.
When faced with stress, we focus on our commitment to a leader, our organization, or our values. Maybe a mix of all three.
1. A New Job
Starting in a new role can certainly bring on feelings of stress, whether it is imposed on you, or you chose to make the move. It can feel arduous to go from being unconsciously competent in our current role, to consciously incompetent in the new job. Even when the change is imposed, you choose to view this new challenge as an opportunity for growth and learning. Hold fast to your commitment to your values and focus on what is within your control.
2. A Toxic Team Member
Check out our vlog, “3 Tips to Combat Toxic Employees,” to get you started if you find yourself working with a toxic team member. While you can’t control their mood, attitude, or even behavior, you are in complete control of your own. Challenge your conversational skills and influence them to change by confronting their behavior without blame. Remind yourself why you’re there and leverage the commitment you share with your manager and valued colleagues.
3. A Major Mistake
At some point in your career, you’re going to mess up. Maybe even big-time. You’re human after all. As you pick yourself up and bounce forward, consider all the vital lessons that can be learned from that experience. We worked with one client that values these challenging lessons, to such an extent that they break out the champagne when a project fails to celebrate all the learning it created. They focus on what they can control going forward, and all are committed to the organizational values that support this growth mindset. Imagine if we all were able to do that?!
Remember: we are all capable of increasing our capacity for resilience. We’ve only scratched the surface of the many ways we can build that muscle at work.
Reach out to us if you’d like to learn more!