Although it’s very important for our professional future, it’s an aspect often neglected by people, probably as a consequence of our rushed daily lives.
“Resilience is the capacity of an individual to deal with problems, adapt to change, overcome obstacles or resist the pressure of adverse situations – shock, stress, trauma, etc”
Our working environment is dynamic and filled with unexpected events, that we are constantly bombarded with stressful situations. As a consequence, we sometimes have peaks of anxiety and this reflects on our mood, attitude, relationships, and very often have an impact at home in our personal relationships there too.
A few weeks ago I was returning from a meeting in Mexico and sat next to an executive who was quickly scanning his backlog of e-mails, as we talked about Agile. A topic which had most caught my attention was stress management. Her company was trying out several initiatives to reduce corporate stress: yoga, PTO, non-violent communication, etc. “The root cause is the culture”, I thought to myself between one chat and another. Our working environment is full of extreme situations. Knowing how to handle them is fundamental in achieving professional success.
Doing what you do can’t be easy. Endless meetings, innumerable problems to solve and before you know it, you’re drowning in a sea of stress. So like a team preparing for the championship finals, we too need to be aware of our degree of resilience. It’s what’ll help us overcome obstacles without giving up our values, principles and, especially, our sanity. We must be attentive as individuals, a team and organization.
A doctor soon learns he must be resilient in order to deal with bad situations, sick people and sometimes illnesses which have no cure. Without resilience, a doctor couldn’t finish his shift. In daily life, we too deal with– culturally speaking – sick people and organizations, and we must prevent these situations from doing us harm, something which, if we don’t pay attention, will happen quite naturally and silently. Which of us has never got home breathless after a difficult day?
But be very careful: resilience is not the same as indifference, lack of emotion or an excuse for aggressiveness. We’re not robots!
Resilience means not taking problems home, not losing one’s good mood in stressful situations, not getting oneself down because a client did this or that. Not losing heart even when things aren’t easy. Resilience is knowing you did your best even when something doesn’t work out, and to learn from it, always moving on with your head held high. It’s understanding that not everyone wants to be helped, and that’s okay. It’s being involved in problems without letting them drain our energy.
So little by little let’s start incorporating this idea into our daily lives, practicing continuous improvement and shaping our culture so that it becomes more and more just. There’s plenty of room for improvement, plenty to learn as an organization. Resilience is part of our DNA. It can get a bit sidelined in our hectic life, so if you can bring this idea into your daily life, my writing this message will have paid off.