How Resilient Are You?

There’s a survey over on HBR, Assessment: How Resilient Are You? If you have read the resilience literature, you know how to answer the questions. The questions are all hypothetical, which make them even worse. Sigh. On the other hand, maybe you haven’t read the resilience literature :-) You might get something out of it.

Not surprisingly, I rated very high on the resilience scale. There are several sections: Challenge, Control, and Commitment.

Challenge is how you respond to challenges at work. What happens when you have setbacks? Do you view them as learning opportunities, or do you retreat into a shell? (You have multiple options between those two extremes.)

Control is how you manage your responses to what you can and cannot control. Do you act when you can, and relax (my word) about the things you can’t?

Commitment is about how you manage your work/life balance, and pursue what means something to you. If you’ve read Manage Your Job Search, you know how I feel about work-life balance: “You only have one life. Live it.”

Living with my condition has provided me more insight than most people, I suspect. I can maintain my workouts, work on eating properly for my condition, and not worry about the rest. I work at being the best I can be in all aspects of my life. I have said many times, “I am a work in progress.” That’s a sign of the growth mindset and resilience.

You don’t need to have a condition like mine to be resilient—thank goodness! I was resilient before. I still have times when I am not feeling resilient at all. And, because I am optimistic and hopeful, I can work on my resilience.

If you review Siebert’s resilience levels in The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks, they are:

  1. Level one: Optimize your health
  2. Level two: Skillfully problem solve
  3. Level three: Strengthen your inner selfs
  4. Level four: Synergy: Learning and positive expectations
  5. Level five: Mastering serendipity for breakthroughs

I have focused my questions of the week on levels two and three. In my experience, those are the most difficult to learn. Once you practice those resilience levels, getting to levels 4 and 5 are easier.

We can be emotionally resilient.

Johanna's Problem Solving Loop
Johanna’s Problem Solving Loop

I have found it’s better to assess where I am (see the reality), generate options, take a small step and measure.

That allows me to find my balance (hehe), physical and emotional. I am special. I need both kinds of balance.

When I take small steps and assess the feedback or measurement, I gain more confidence.

When I was relearning to walk as a dizzy broad, I did this. When I realized I needed a cane, and then a rollator, I used this. Was I better with assistive devices? Yes. Did I want to need them? No. But my experience showed me I was dizzier and needed more help. I was optimizing my health, so I could get on with my life.

We do this at work all the time. How is your project proceeding? Is it where you want it to be? If not, what options can you consider, and experiment with?

I decided long ago that my life was about learning. Sure, I can be sad, just as everyone can. Then, I remember my growth mindset, and use the resilience levels and my problem-solving. I ask, What else can I do? Where do I go next?

Resilience gets us through the tough times. It helps us grow.

My dear adaptable problem solvers, that is the question this week: How resilient are you?

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