If you read the word “resilience” and roll your eyes, fold your arms and think “yeah, right”, you are not alone. I have had a love/hate reaction to the word “resilience”.
Let me tell you why.
I had embraced and learned the habit of resilience through many early personal challenges that seemed insurmountable. Thankfully. I came out the other side of those challenges through grace, external skills, internal emotional and spiritual work, and support from people around me.
Without necessarily using the word “resilience” I appreciated the idea of resiliency and honed my ability to use it – mostly – and usually not on my own power alone.
On the other hand, I have a bit of an aversion to the word “resilience” because it has been a misused term that negatively translates into messages from ourselves or others to suck it up, stick your nose to the grindstone or just try harder, work faster, work smarter.
I once did a major organizational development project on culture shift. Through extensive inquiry with internal participants, I heard about feelings of overwork, exploitation, lack of clarity, lack of connection to the mission, concerns about silos and disconnection from others, poor communication, and a sense of overwhelm and burnout.
One leader, hearing the results reacted to the input by saying “they just need to be more resilient”.
That is one reason I developed an aversion to the word. Plus, we have all seen the word tossed around as a desired skill but without much substance or strategy around how to develop it.
We have been through difficult years, and we are emerging into work and life patterns that will forever be different than we knew before. As businesses, teams, and organizations reconvene in-person, virtually, or in a hybrid model, we have the perfect opportunity to reset and renew patterns at work to create resilient teams and support individual thriving.We are emerging into work and life patterns that will forever be different than we knew before. We have the perfect opportunity to reset and renew patterns at work to create resilient teams and support individual thriving. Click To Tweet
What is resiliency in an ideal form?
Many definitions of resiliency exist but a definition coined by Kathryn McEwen who created the Resilience at Work (R@W)® Tool Kit includes:
- the capacity to manage the everyday stress of work and remain healthy,
- to adapt to, and learn from unexpected setbacks
- to prepare for future challenges proactively
Why bother exploring resiliency at work? After all, isn’t it an individual’s responsibility to deal with their stuff and show up ready to work?A thriving, healthy workplace depends on our attention to each other and the conditions that create resiliency. Click To Tweet
Actually, a thriving, healthy workplace depends on our attention to each other and the conditions that create resiliency. Research shows that fostering resiliency is valuable because it creates:
- Optimized teamwork
- Change adaptability
- Engagement and Wellness
- Sustained performance
We live in a highly individualized culture, where independence, power, autonomy, competition, efficiency, and profit are the rewarded goals, regardless of cost.
But we need each other – in community and in work.
Our investment in using the tools of resiliency can result in healthy, effective, engaged employees who are contributors to the bigger picture – which will lead to effectiveness and profit – but not at the expense of personal physical, mental, emotional or spiritual wellness.Our investment in using the tools of resiliency can result in healthy, effective, engaged employees who are contributors to the bigger picture – which will lead to effectiveness and profit – but not at the expense of personal… Click To Tweet
Whether you are a leader or team member, does this concept make you curious?
The Resilience @ Work Toolkit I use with individuals and teams is a great assessment process that invites conversations, opening doors to explore workplace cultures that will help people thrive – not merely survive.