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How resilient are you at work?

Resilience. If COVID-19 has taught us anything at work, it’s taught us about the art of recovering quickly and facing challenges without falling in a heap. Resilience is critical for individual health and wellbeing. It’s also critical for productivity and organisational success.

But with change so constant in many workplaces it can be tough to keep a stiff upper lip and demonstrate resilience and flexibility.

Where do you begin? Here are some of our top picks for building resilience.

Don’t fight change

In modern workplaces, change is inevitable for survival. Some workplaces deal with enormous amounts of constant change. With others, change is slow but sure.

No matter what level or pace, it’s key is to accept change and find ways to be comfortable with it. If you spend all your energy resisting change, or fearing it, you’ll have nothing left in the tank to drive forward. Work out how to add value to changes underway. Put a positive hat on so you’re ready to embrace it. Don’t get stuck in the mud.

Building resilience better equips you to adjust to change and thrive in a change environment. If you’re struggling, talk to your boss or a human resources expert. You can also talk to peers but remember that they’re not “experts in resilience”.

Be a continuous learner

Being resilient means continually learning new skills and building your knowledge base.

The more you think laterally, the better you’ll cope. This includes zeroing in on what you need to learn to deal effectively with workplace change. An example that illustrated this at the start of COVID was the need for many employees to get trained on using online platforms like Teams or Zoom for meetings.

Maintain perspective

Aim to maintain perspective. Remember that it’s normal to feel wobbly and challenged when dealing with the early stages of change.

  • Remind yourself that feeling anxious is a natural reaction to change.
  • Focus on solutions, which build resilience, momentum, and a sense of achievement.
  • Concentrate on achieving, remembering that having a direct impact on business success increases personal and professional satisfaction.
  • Turn negative talk into positive talk. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes when you practice self-awareness.
  • Remind yourself that how you’re feeling today will also change, and for the better if you maintain perspective.

Take charge and build networks

Being resilient means taking charge of your situation. At work this can mean your development and mindset.

If you’re surrounded by negative colleagues who resist change, cultivate fresh connections. Nurture a broader network to gain new perspectives. It’s also energising and inspiring. You’ll have a more positive headspace for dealing with change.

Build your emotional intelligence

You don’t have to like change to build resilience. But it can be easier to accept than resist when change is inevitable. Building emotional intelligence helps.

Be authentic by analysing your values and beliefs. Workshop how they align with the change underway. Alignment is great for mental health.

If you remain uncomfortable with your organisation’s values and beliefs, start searching for your sense of purpose elsewhere.

Manage stress

Resilience requires strength and strength requires work-life balance. This means plenty of sleep, good eating habits, hydration, exercise and having fun with family and friends.

Research is clear that those who take time to relax and socialise have improved wellbeing and work performance. Some stats say that people are 3.5 times more likely to be resilient when in good physical health.

Conduct an audit of your life. If you don’t have work-life balance, put steps in place to achieve it. Assess your diet, be real about how much exercise you’re getting, and build in “you time”.

Start now

Even if your organisation isn’t in a state of flux, it’s still worth building resilience as a core competency.

Resilience is key to operating at high levels and being agile. It’s a skill you can leverage when applying for new positions, seeking promotions and/or working on a major career change. It’s a skill your employer will notice and appreciate.

While building resilience doesn’t happen overnight, there’s nothing stopping you from reading more on the subject and looking at training that will help you build resilience. Start today.

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