Archives for 16 Feb,2019

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Resilience

Bull_Rush 400x265How to be Strong.  Like Bull. ™

Resilience is a determination to overcome obstacles and the ability to bounce back after setbacks. It’s often described as displaying a mental, emotional and personal toughness combined with a deep self-insight and learning capacity.

There are several distinct elements to resilience, as identified by our good friends at A&DC:

  • Self Belief
  • Direction
  • Goal Orientation
  • Emotional Control
  • Optimism
  • Ingenuity
  • Seeking Support
  • Adaptability

Arguably the most important of all of those elements is adaptability, being willing and able to adapt to evolving situations, finding alternatives way to achieve the same outcome.

How do you develop Resilience?

When we assess individuals for resilience we’ve found that the star performers all share some common traits:

Jelly Bean Diversity

Individuals have developed a wide set of skills and learnt to use them these flexibly.  They’re keen to understand and learn about a broad set of issues.

They also tend to be highly self-reflective, understand their own capabilities, de-railing factors and their impact on others.  They’re also incredibly proactive about listening & acting on feedback

Importantly, they acknowledge when things go wrong, learn and move on.  They’ve also nurtured the ability to absorb pressure or difficulties and to act as a buffer for the team.

To learn more about self reflection follow me, or to learn about your impact on others follow me…

In many ways resilience is all about attitude; it’s about recognising that change can be a positive thing and changing your behaviour is sometimes necessary to continue to achieve your goals.  So for example when you put plans in place, anticipate what changes might occur and allow for that change in your planning.

Below are some questions designed to help you reflect on your resilience:

Describe a time at work when you have had to work under pressure.

Why were there increasing demands?  What did that mean for you?  What did that mean for others?  How did you respond?  Why did you take that approach?  What feedback did you get?

Think about a time when you have had to deal with a crisis or emergency.

How did this affect you?  What did you do to resolve the crisis?  What decisions did you need to make?  How did you do this?  Who did you have to work with?  What challenges did you face?  How did you overcome them?  What feedback did you get?

When have you  had to ask for help?

Why did you decide to go to them?  What did you say?

It will also be helpful to remember the locus of control – if you’re upset, annoyed or frustrated about something, think about what you can control and get to it!

We recently came across this little gem from Phil Dobson on wecommend.com – here he talks about Resilience Through Improved Brain Fitness and The SENSE Model, describing the five keys to improving brain fitness: Stress Management, Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep, and Experience (S.E.N.S.E.).

It’s well worth a click!

 

 

Strong.  Like Bull. ™ courtesy of Ben Stiller in ‘There’s Something About Mary’

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Productivity Ninja

Zen-like calm meets stealth and camouflage

It’s fair to say that in our digital, on-demand age the weakest link in the chain is likely to be the human being in the middle of it all.  And there’s a subtle clue here in the wording: we’re human beings, not human doings.

The Productivity Ninja offers us a way to recapture that essence of being in an increasingly crowded workplace of overflowing inboxes, to-do lists and endless, pointless meetings.

Using a fascinating combination of mindfulness, zen-like calm and stealth & camouflage the Productivity Ninja aims to get your inbox down to zero, make the most of your attention (rather than your time) and teach you to work smarter, not harder.

The author Graham Allcott’s loftiest aim being to teach you how to love your work again by making the bold statement that “time management is dead.”  Attention management is the key to understanding productivity, and that means acknowledging that you have periods of low attention when you don’t have the mental focus to tackle the day job.

Allcott explains that there are 9 characterises of a Productivity Ninja and we’ll touch on a few of our favourites here:

Zen-like calm

If you want to remain focused and not be stressed by all the things you’re not doing, you’ll need to create a ‘Second Brain.”  Basically, it’s a system built around lists, checklists or productivity apps where you can store your ideas.

It’s there to share the load of a busy mind, helping you to think more clearly because you’re not getting distracted by all the other things you need to do.

Ruthlessness

Saying no.  Not something many of us are entirely comfortable with but if we first acknowledge that saying yes to everything is the beginning of our never-ending to-do list, we’ll soon feel a lot more comfortable with the word no.

Thinking like a ninja means being ruthless with your attention and focus.  And as other commentators have pointed out over the years, it’s helpful to consider what is most important to say yes to so that you feel more comfortable about choosing to say no to other things.

Weapon-savvy

This is about using the right tools for the job.  Which tools save you time and don’t provide distractions?

The challenge we face with productivity software (in particular) is that it encourages networking and social sharing.  How often does that turn into a few hours fiddling with dashboards or instant messaging colleagues?  So we need to manage our use of such tools so that they help our focus rather than hinder it.

Stealth and camouflage

The introvert’s personal favourite and something the extrovert would be encouraged to consider now and again.  Get out of the chaos occasionally.

“One of the worst things you can do is always make yourself available,” writes Graham Allcott.

Research suggests that a 2-minute interruption to your thought process can take at least 30 minutes to undo.  Are there times when working alone and away from others, technology and the phone could be useful?  How could you build these into your day?

Making mistakes

It’s ok to make mistakes!  Perfectionism is a long way from perfect as we explored here.

Perfection is one of those wonderful ideas that we might aspire to, but it can often lead to drastically negative behaviour.  Perfectionism continually points to our failures, no matter how small, and it undermines our achievements.

Are you at your most productive when you are undermining yourself?

If you can combine that last point in particular with the other characteristics of a Productivity Ninja, we wholly support Graham Allcott’s view:

“You’ll feel more present in your work, more engaged, calmer and more at ease with the world around you.”

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