Behavioural

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Why Perfectionism Isn’t Perfect

Peas 400x265Why Being Mr. (or Mrs.) Perfect may not be so perfect after all.

Perfectionism is one of those wonderful character traits that we all aspire too, but can often lead to drastically negative behaviour.  It continually points to our failures, no matter how small and undermines our achievements.

Culturally, we prize perfectionism; Steve Jobs is frequently held as an ideal for insisting on perfection.

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, adaptability is a key ingredient in resilient people.  And resilient people are the ones who will come back time and again to face a challenge.  The irony of perfectionism is that eventually, the perfectionist will give up.  And whatever challenge they faced will be left un-conquered.  Was Steve Jobs a perfectionist?  Or was he able to adapt his ideas to the modern marketplace?  That debate still rages on in our office today.

But research now shows us that perfectionism is an acquired trait, we’re certainly not born with it.  How perfect were your idle doodles as a 4 year old?  Could they have been better?

One interesting shift in modern society is the pressure we place on our children to succeed.  Without the requisite social skills in place, children often perceive this pressure as criticism.  And it’s this perceived criticism that works its way into the psyche and develops as a trait.

One side effect to perfectionism is a focus on control; it encourages rigid thinking and behaviour.  That’s precisely the opposite of what is required from individuals across organisations in the modern context, where we want to see innovation and flexibility.

According to Psychology Today:

“Perfectionism reduces playfulness and the assimilation of knowledge; if you’re always focused on your own performance and on defending yourself, you can’t focus on learning a task. Here’s the cosmic thigh-slapper: Because it lowers the ability to take risks, perfectionism reduces creativity and innovation—exactly what’s not adaptive in the global marketplace.”

“Yet, it does more. It is a steady source of negative emotions; rather than reaching toward something positive, those in its grip are focused on the very thing they most want to avoid—negative evaluation. Perfectionism, then, is an endless report card; it keeps people completely self-absorbed, engaged in perpetual self-evaluation—reaping relentless frustration and doomed to anxiety and depression.”

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Below we list some of the personality traits exhibited by perfectionists.

Concern over mistakes: Perfectionists tend to interpret mistakes as equivalent to failure and to believe they will lose the respect of others following failure.

High personal standards: Perfectionists don’t just set very high standards but place excessive importance on those standards for self-evaluation.

Parental expectations: Perfectionists tend to believe their parents set very high goals for them.

Parental criticism: Perfectionists perceive that their parents are (or were) overly critical.

Doubting actions: Perfectionists doubt their ability to accomplish tasks.

Organisation: Perfectionists tend to emphasise order.

In a team environment we’ve experienced first-hand that the rigidity of perfectionism is difficult to work with.  The drive for the perfect answer doesn’t make space for the weird and wonderful world of collaboration.

What can you do to overcome the drawbacks to perfectionism?  As a starting point, we can take a leaf from Taibi Kahler’s book on drivers.  He identified ‘Be Perfect’ as an inherent driver type and offered these suggestions:

  • Encourage playfulness in your thinking process
  • Cultivate mindfulness when dealing with others
  • Practise accepting imperfection from others as well as yourself
  • Acknowledge the effort that’s put into meeting challenges
  • Invite feedback and embrace it

Perfectionism can be problematic because it can lead to obsessiveness, which in turn leads to a whole host of issues around attendance, performance, and morale.  For example; you’ll often see a perfectionist procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing before they start.

Or even worse, they may position themselves as a martyr. Certainly in a business context, the employees we regard as heroes, the ones who come in early, stay late, and solve every problem can actually mask inherent business issues.  The simple fact that heroic measures are required means at least some things are not working right.  So whether we call a person hero or martyr – we need to ask the question, what is really going on and what can we learn from that?

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Binary Thinking

What triggers binary thinking and why it’s an issue

Have you ever noticed when you’re feeling uncomfortable about making a decision or you’re anxious about something, that you seem to only have two bad options?

It’s a sign you may be getting stuck in binary thinking – either it’s A or B.  Black or White.  Or an unattractive option against an equally unattractive option.

This is one of the limiting effects of our brain’s tendency to narrow our thinking when we’re under pressure.  It can be helpful to understand more about why this happens and what you can do about it when you find yourself stuck in binary thinking.

So why do our brains narrow in thinking when we’re under pressure?  It’s important to remember that our primary instinct is to survive and so when we face anything we perceive as pressure or a threat, then to some degree, our brain, muscles, hormones and chemicals are in survival mode.  You can dig into the neuroscience behind this here.

That might sound extreme for simply deciding how to address a difficult conversation with a  colleague, but the fact remains that since the days of escaping attacks by sabre-tooth tigers, we still have the same fight or flight mechanisms for any perceived threat.

The discomfort and anxiety caused by the idea of having an awkward conversation with a colleague registers in our brains in a similar way to a physical threat to our safety.  And so it makes some sense that during these times of pressure, our brain’s priority is not to be as creative and open as possible in thinking.

The brain’s priority is to get us out of the problem, so quick and minimal options that get us towards a decision and outcome is the focus: think fight or flight.  This might translate in your difficult conversation scenario to thinking your only options are to go in and shout at the person or say nothing.  Or you might decide that it’s fire them now or forever be stuck with their poor performance.

What we need is more options…

How can we break our brain’s natural reaction and find more options?  This is where mindfulness comes in.  We need to be consciously aware of what is happening in order to choose a different way of thinking.

So pay attention to those times when you find yourself thinking you only have two options.  Think of the thought “I can either do A or B” as an alarm bell – a warning that you are in narrow thinking and it could be beneficial for you to move into more open and creative thinking.

Once you have recognised that you’ve gone into that binary thinking, you can now choose to come out of it.  Here are some top tips for getting into a more creative space:

Tell yourself, or draw it out if you work well with visuals, that there are many options in between A and B.

Ask yourself, what if I could work out four other options between A and B?  How might that help me?  Posing this as a question rather than a factual statement engages the brain and challenges the brain to start thinking more creatively

This moves the brain to a future-focus

Focus on the outcomes – what do you want to achieve?  This moves the brain to a future-focus, imagining what we want to happen, which again breaks us out of the threat response.

In the difficult conversation example, you might say that you want the outcomes to be that the person changes their behaviour and that your working relationship is still intact.

In communicating bad news, like the need for redundancies, you might say you want the outcome to be that people know what is happening and why, and that people know you are keen to help them get through this.

It is helpful to think about your outcomes in terms of what you want other people to feel, say and do.  As this can be a clear starting point for you deciding what you need to feel, say and do.

Now plan out some other options.  Based on the outcomes you want, what are some different options?  What could you say and do?  Which options feel more appropriate?  Why?

Now you have moved from limited options to a clearer focus on the outcomes you desire.  So you can plan your next move.

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Mindset

mindset3The Idea: Intelligence isn’t fixed.

World-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, in decades of research on achievement and success, has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea-the power of our mindset.

New research shows that rather than intelligence being fixed, the more you challenge your mind to learn, the more the brain grows and gets stronger. Adopting a ‘growth mindset’ – believing your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts – has been found in studies to help children build resilience and achieve better results at school, as well as adults to reach their own personal and professional goals.

It is therefore beneficial for us all, at any age, to believe we and others can learn and get better at things. This changes the way we learn ourselves, teach others, lead others and support our children.

The Action

Next time you set yourself a goal, try moving your mindset from fixed to growth. This means actively embracing challenges as opportunities to learn and viewing any setbacks- or /lack of success as ‘not yet’ rather than failure.

This is like the classic story of Edison making 1000 attempts to create a light bulb. He did not say “I’ve failed,” he said “I’ve not got it right yet.” Use “I’m not there yet,” in your setbacks to help you focus on learning and growing from every experience. This will help you achieve better results in the end.

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Brexit. What now?

Brexit TotemOvercoming Uncertainty.  How Psychology Can Help.

Whether you were shocked, delighted, devastated or relieved to hear the result on Brexit, the fact remains that for many businesses we’re now stepping into previously uncharted territory.  The only certainty seems to be uncertainty itself.

This website is loaded with freely available materials to help you through times of uncertainty, from mindset to neuroplasticity we’ll be sharing some of the most relevant support via our Thought Leadership updates as the situation unfolds over the next few weeks and months.

We’ve also created a new tag called ‘Referendum‘ to help you search for supporting articles more easily.

As many of our clients are facing difficult conversations with their people we explore these early reactions of uncertainty and unease:

  • How is my company affected by the news?
  • Could budget cuts and fears over economic uncertainty lead to me not having a job?
  • Will the budgets be cut from my key projects leading me back to square one on a lot of hard work?
  • How are things going to change in my job?
  • What does all this really mean for me, my job, my team?

These are just some of the questions swimming around the minds of people and in conversations around the workplace.  Yet as with any time of uncertainty and ambiguity, the fact is that nobody really knows the answers to these questions.  So how do we respond?  How should leaders communicate “I don’t know” or “we’ll have to wait and see”, when that response is unlikely to put people at ease – in fact it might make things worse.

Totem Lollipops

We know from neuroscience research that the brain responds far better to bad news than not knowing.  We would rather know what difficult things lie ahead than be in a time of uncertainty; we simply crave certainty.  This means that messages about seeing how things go, or needing to wait for reports back from certain teams or results, can be really unhelpful.

A better option is to frequently and to the point that it feels like over-communication, clarify what you know, what you don’t know and when you will update people again.  You can reinforce this with reminders on what will stay the same and what will change.  The key reason for this over-communication of simple messages is the threat of an unhelpful series of events, which can build in times of uncertainty:

  • The brain craves certainty and will find it – so if you don’t tell people what is certain, their brains will choose things that seem likely or possibly assume the worst
  • That will start the rumour mill, so if you’re not communicating regularly or clearly enough, the rumours will fill in the gaps for you
  • People assuming the worst and worrying about their job security creates a threat response in the brain, which can lead to a variety of unhelpful behaviours
  • Without clarification on what will stay the same, people may also jump to conclusions about how much will change – possibly creating a further threat response
  • You’re likely to see more defensive behaviour, people wanting to keep their heads down, or worse – people becoming negative and cynical about their work
  • And through all of this, because of the brain’s focus on the threat situation – people will not be doing their best thinking or their best work

Once a week – perhaps as part of the usual company update or results check-in conference calls,  update your people on how things are progressing.  When you think about it, you might notice that we often repeat messages many times, for example clarifying the goals or targets for the month or year.  This is very helpful as the classic saying “what gets measured gets done” also applies to “what gets talked about gets heard.”

Line of isolated jelly bean figures with shadows

When we talk consistently about targets and goals, people have certainty; they know what is expected.  In the same way when we talk about uncertainty or not knowing what will happen in future, the mind is filled with doubt and concern.  You can see it in the media already, where a strong narrative is that nobody really knows what will happen next – causing fear and unrest in the economy.

Here’s a sample communication script from one of our client’s support functions teams, which you could adapt for your specific business, level and situation.

What we know, whilst also emphasising what will stay the same

  • The Brexit news has caused a shock and some concern in the economy.  You will have heard in the news that the pound and FTSE have taken a big knock, but this is normal with any big change in politics and government
  • We know that our customers are continuing to spend as normal based on the past few days’ results
  • We know that our partners and suppliers around the globe are concerned about possible changes to our trade agreements, but because we all know it will be some time before anything actually changes on that front, everything continues as normal
  • As we’ve talked about many times before, our major focus for the next three years is to improve our platforms to enable smoother operations for our customers and our internal reporting, whilst also growing our B2B services.  This has not changed, we will continue to invest and grow in these areas

Notice the emphasis on clarifying what it might be easy to assume is obvious.  Saying our results are the same when surely people can see it in the data might seem pointless but we need to keep positive messages front and centre to give our people (and their brains in particular) reassurance and clarity.

What we don’t know, clarifying what is known within this, what that means to people now, when we might know and when updates will come from the business

  • Because of the uncertainty in our political structure, we don’t know who will be in charge of major governmental projects or how and when these might go ahead.  We suspect some or all of these projects might be put on hold and if so we won’t know how long for.  We therefore want to complete our current research phases on three of those projects, then pause until we know more
  • Our team’s role on these projects is to support the research and when that is complete, we still have plenty of work to do on the platform improvement projects, so there will be no job role changes or cuts to this team
  • One of the project teams in department X will no longer have work due to the government budget for the research going on hold.  This team has been told and is going through a consultation process to see if we can find them work on other projects.  We will know by the end of July what is happening here and will update you on progress every week
  • We know that within six months there will be a budget update from each of our government teams, so we can assess then what happens next
  • In the meantime we will update you every week on the progress with all of this, clarifying what stays the same and what, if anything, will be changing

Notice wherever there is a comment about something we don’t know, or something changing, there is a supporting comment on what’s next and dates to clarify things.

The overall message with all of this is to over-communicate.  Clarify what stays the same, talk about what is unknown and how and when you might have answers.

A classic fault with our brains is to assume everyone is thinking in the same way, which causes major issues through times of change and ambiguity.  Business leaders may have had the privilege of new insight, market research or an in-depth study of the political and economic news; whereas the rest of the company may be unsure what’s happening.

By sharing information, the insight used to make decisions and the thinking behind what is going on, business leaders empower their people to think for themselves, engage with the uncertainty and see a way through it.  That’s your people working at their best.

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Growth or Fixed Mindsets?

Totem Mindset GrowthWhy does our mindset matter?  Let’s explore an experts research…

Carol Dweck’s research is world-renowned for its far-reaching importance and application in our work, personal life and our relationships.  Dweck’s research points to two types of mindset – and she found the mindset we have has a big impact on how we live, how we learn and how happy we can be.

Often our mindset is something that develops as we are growing up. We need to understand which mindset we lean towards and recognise the benefits of this mindset and the benefits of making a change.

To understand your current mindset and consider ways of thinking that can be more helpful, consider these questions:

Setting up a Business

Your good friend Jane is thinking of setting up her own business. She had a similar business a couple of years ago which she said she gave up on due to pressures at university, but a mutual acquaintance told you that she didn’t understand how businesses run.  Jane will come to you for advice on whether to pick it up again.  What are your initial thoughts?

A) She won’t succeed, she is not very business savvy

B) She should give it a go, she had to give up before as she had no choice

C) If she works really hard to understand her market, she is sure to succeed

Rock Star

You and your friend are at a music festival watching a band play. Your friend says to you  “I’d love to play guitar on stage, but I’d never be good enough… I’m all fingers and thumbs.”  What would you say?

A) Yes, you have to be really talented to make it in the music industry

B) Yes, its all about being in the right place at the right time, you have to be so lucky to get spotted

C) Yes you could, you just have to practise and find out how to get noticed

Totem Gummi Bears

If your answers are mainly A’s then you agreed with the Fixed Mindset statements.  These statements suggest that talent or ability are fixed and that is the main reason why the individual may not succeed; it cannot be improved upon.

If your responses are mainly B’s then you seem to think of things as being out of someone’s control.  That can be a different version of the Fixed Mindset – as it’s not about being smart, it’s about being lucky – and there’s not much we can do about that.

If your responses are mainly C’s then you agreed with the Growth Mindset statements. These statements suggest you believe that, even if you have limited talent, ability or skill, it is possible with hard work or practice that you can improve.

In general, people with a Growth Mindset enjoy success and failure, they are curious and learn every day and from every situation.  People with a Fixed Mindset work to stay within their comfort zone, look for opportunities to be praised and recognised within that comfort zone and for them failure can be extremely threatening.

Some tips for success regardless of your mindset:

  • Focus on your effort and persistence – stay positive
  • Build in some strategies / some approaches to learning in different ways, discover what works and what doesn’t for you
  • Look at how you like to learn and use this preference when needing to learn something new
  • Seek out challenges and things that push you a bit outside of your comfort zone – we don’t tend to learn big new things when we’re relaxed in our comfort zone
  • Recognise your talent/skill and see how you can improve on this

Most of us have aspects of both mindsets, but generally we tend to lean more towards one than the other-each of which has its implications.

Are you guaranteed a life of ease, wealth and success purely by having a Growth Mindset?  Of course not.  But you’re more likely to stay happy and healthy against life’s challenges with a Growth Mindset – and that can mean you spot more opportunities and find you can be more successful.

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70 20 10 In Practice

70-20-10-TotemWhat does it really mean and what does that mean to me in L&D?

This model or set of principles seems to have been a little misunderstood.

The CCL shared the 70:20:10 model as a description of what happens in the workplace.  It was not in itself a guide for what we should be doing in L&D or a target for how we should spend our time and money.

The  research suggested that in reality, we learn 70% of everything we know on-the-job and 20% from asking others.  It makes sense – how do we do things around here?  Where’s the coffee machine?  How do we file our expenses?  What’s Joe like in IT?  How do we tend to manage customers who ask for too much?  What is our usual approach in this business of managing teams?

We learn by doing, asking around, observing how others do it and seeing what feedback we get on our performance and behaviour.

Totem Lollipops

A lot of the time we don’t even realise we are learning – it’s just all going in, giving us points of reference for when we’re in a similar situation.

Our manager and our peers are our L&D team – they are delivering learning for us all day every day.  So what does this mean for learning professionals?  Should we give up?  Of course not!

What is required is a different way of thinking about learning.  The age-old “I know more than you do on this topic, so you sit there and I’ll impart my knowledge” does not and will not cut it.

Sukh Pabial’s consistently insightful blogs have given some suggestions on this.  See this one for a list of interventions that could be helpful alternatives to the traditional classroom learning:

It seems to us there are two big questions to deal with with:

1) If the manager is delivering learning all day, every day – are they teaching people good stuff – or bad stuff?

2) What does that mean we need to do in L&D?

We can answer the first question using employee engagement data and looking at the performance of teams.  If speaking to a member of team fills us with enthusiasm and confidence then I’m sure the manager is teaching good stuff every day.  If the team sound disengaged and frustrated – and we hear complaints about that team across the business, I can’t imagine the right attitude and behaviours are being role modelled.

Totem Gummi Bears

If we’re happy that managers are developing the good stuff, why mess with it?  The role of L&D is then to offer further support to what is already happening on the job, through skills and knowledge development.

The challenge is usually that the majority of managers are not developing the good stuff.*  The role of L&D then has traditionally been to give people an alternative view: “Here’s some good stuff you could do.”

But this will most often be drowned out by the manager,* who is still offering on the job learning (whether intended or not) that lacks support for or directly contradicts the messages L&D are giving.

So perhaps the most straightforward role for L&D is to support managers – so that they can role model great performance and great character.  That might start right at the top, so that the role modelling of the good stuff filters through, or it might start at one level and move in both directions.

Either way, let’s find out what the managers think and how they consider things could be better.  Then let’s support them to develop the skills and habits required to deliver just that.

* We don’t want to shoot the manager – click here to find out more.

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Behavioural Change

change-management totemIf we want people to be doing something different, shouldn’t we just train them?

Quite often organisations go through a shift in focus or strategy, legislation changes, the introduction of new technology or some other need to do things differently. When this happens, depending on the nature of the change, there may be a need for three or 300,000 people to change the way they do things.

Where does training fit in?

Training can be both fantastic and useless. Training, “the teaching of a skill or behaviour” is great at showing me how to do something, for example how to use a new piece of equipment. But training does not guarantee that when the time comes to use the equipment, I make any of the critical choices that make the difference. Choices like:

  • Using the new equipment over what I usually do
  • Following my training to use the equipment properly
  • When I hit an obstacle, choosing not to give up
  • Choosing to encourage others to use this equipment and be positive about trying something new

All of these steps require a positive attitude to change and a subsequent change in behaviour – which training alone can only slightly influence.

Line of isolated jelly bean figures with shadows

The challenge is not that learning how to do something is useless; it’s that it’s just not enough. We need to know why we should bother doing something different, what the obstacles might be, how we can avoid them and how we stay positive through that learning curve.

So how do we change behaviour?

Whether you want people to use new equipment, try a new approach to performance management, be more innovative or deliver a specific objective – the same rules apply. To change individual behaviour, you need to:

  • Find out what motivates your people
  • Identify the potential barriers and obstacles to your specific change
  • Identify the benefits to each individual of the change you want to embed, and align these to individual motives
  • Communicate the change, the benefits, the obstacles and what you’re doing about them, then provide training where required
  • Demonstrate that senior leaders are really behind this (usually by doing it themselves)
  • Engage each individual to consider their attitude to the change, their motives, their barriers to change and what they will do about them

All of the above works most effectively when you have a project manager leading champions around the business to engage individuals, knock down barriers and take the whole organisation through the change. And once this initial engagement has occurred, you will need to maintain momentum by measuring the change activity, communicating progress and celebrating success.

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Assessment by Design

Totem-AC 400x265How do we go about designing an Assessment Centre?

It’s probably best to clarify what we mean by Assessment Centre – because others may describe them as development centres, others still as screening days.  What we’re talking about here is taking a group of people and assessing their skills and behaviour against certain criteria.

It could be that you’re recruiting for hundreds of store managers, or you’re looking at the development needs of two or three senior law firm partners – the premise is the same (the execution is obviously different!)

So what does make a great performer in certain roles?  Does ‘good performance’ mean the same thing if the role is say, externally or internally facing?  How does geographic location effect performance – and the assessment?

And let’s make it super interesting, are there differences across the brands being represented if you’re working in a multi-brand organisation?

In order to better plan recruitment and development activity across your organisation, you’re going to have questions similar to these.  You’ll probably have some baseline performance measures in place already – think competency framework here, but is that framework up to the job?

The outcome you’re looking for here is a clear understanding of the consistent and individual behaviours that differentiate high performance – leading on to a better selection or development process for every role under the microscope.

Jelly Bean Diversity

So where to start? 

First up is understanding what good performance actually looks like in your organisation or a specific role.  Start by reviewing any key metrics you use across the roles and then sense check them with a few key stakeholders.  Take the time here to conduct a few exploratory interviews with line managers, regional managers etc – the feedback from these sessions will give you a deeper and more realistic understanding of where your exiting metrics are and aren’t working.

From this you will have a clear sense of how to identify the measures of great performance and where to explore specific behaviours and contexts.  This will enable you to invite the right people to focus groups.

Which leads us on to step two, focus groups.  Having identified high performers using the metrics from step one, you’ll need to run focus groups with these people to understand what they’re doing in more detail.

It’s a great idea to include high performers across brands, roles and locations (if applicable) in order to understand where there are consistencies and where there are important differences.  It would also be ideal to meet with line managers of high performers to understand their perspective too.

Your role in these groups is to use a range of job analysis techniques to understand the what and how of high performance.  What are people doing that’s delivering the strong metrics?  How are they going about it?  What are the behaviours that make a difference?

Totem Gummi Bears

Now you’ve done the hard work, it’s time for step three and the design work itself.  A good place to start is with a little job analysis.

Think of this analysis like a funnelling exercise.  You need to filter through all the talk about what good looks like to find the highest differentiating characteristics that are consistent across roles, locations and brands.

Once you’re clear on these differentiators, you can begin choosing exercises that give the candidate or attendee the best opportunity to show the desired skills or behaviours.  For example – if charming and disarming customer service is a key requirement for a role, give the candidate a role play exercise with a potentially awkward customer.

You could also choose from a more formal face-to-face assessment, an actual staff interaction or possibly some form of desk analysis if that is relevant.

Particularly in assessment centres, it’s vital to give individuals two opportunities to show the behaviour that you’re after.  Sticking with the customer service role example – some individuals may perform poorly in a face to face environment, but excel in a contact centre environment so build this flexibility into your assessment centre.

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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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