Skip to main content

The importance of resilience

Resilience is…

  • Adapting when under stress or pressure
  • Bouncing back
  • Using emotions in a positive way
  • Actions and thoughts that anyone can develop

Qualities of resilient people include…

  • Problem solving and planning skills
  • Self belief and optimism
  • Openness to change
  • Well-developed support network
  • Sense of humour

Understanding your own resilience

There are four factors that are particularly important when it comes to resilience and managing pressure: confidence, adaptability, social support and purposefulness.  Here are four fifteen minute activities that can help you explore these areas.

Boost your confidence

Having feelings of competence, effectiveness in coping with stressful situations and strong self esteem are inherent to feeling resilient. The frequency with which individuals experience positive and negative emotions is also key.

Download activities and tips to:

Discover how well you know yourself – and do others know you?
Boost your confidence by really getting to know yourself! The Johari window is a simple but powerful exercise to assess yourself and what others know about you

Maximise your effort and energy
Use the circle of control and influence to plot how to maximise your efforts and energy

Get unstuck
Use this to explore where your real blockers are when you get ‘stuck’, to help you find new ways to achieve your desired goals

Boost your confidence tips

Purposefulness: clear focus and direction

Having a clear sense of purpose, clear values, drive and direction help individuals to persist and achieve in the face of setbacks.

Download activities and tips to gain clarity on:

Your North Star
Knowing your ‘north star’ helps you plan your course of action and maintain direction throughout times of change

What’s important to you
Wellbeing is about more than just work, it’s about being clear on what is important to you in life as a whole, particularly through times of pressure and change

Tips for resilient leadership through uncertainty
As a leader, you’re often faced with high uncertainty and ambiguity. These are tips to help you maintain positivity, focus and direction

Purposefulness tips

Keep agile and adaptable

Flexibility and adapting to changing situations which are beyond our control are essential to maintaining resilience. Resilient individuals are able to cope well with change and their recovery from its impact tends to be quicker.

Download activities and tips to:

Manage your reactions to change
Use this to explore how you are thinking and feeling about change, and what this means for your next steps.

Move forward with positivity
Use the ‘change curve’ to identify where you are now in your change journey, and how to move forward towards great outcomes.

Agile and adaptability tips

Stronger together: The power of your support networks

Building good relationships with others and seeking support can help individuals overcome adverse situations, rather than trying to cope on their own.

Download activities and tips:

  • Tap your support network
  • Quick steps to great collaboration
  • Grow your group resilience
Support network tips

Tips for resilient leadership through uncertainty

  • Think options, not solutions
    For complex problems, there won’t be an obvious solution. Getting people to share perceptions about what the problem is and understanding multiple options can be more productive than jumping to premature action-planning.
  • Learn to value ‘not knowing’
    It’s OK to say ‘I don’t know’! As leaders, our role is not about knowing all the answers. Support others who are looking for clarity by helping them to make sense of uncertainty rather than by trying to make everything clear when it can’t be.
  • Embrace ambiguity
    Be open to possibilities; expect (and be ready for) the unexpected; check with yourself regularly whether you are clinging tightly to assumptions about the future. Continually build new relationships, consider new systems and new ways of working.
  • Re-connect with your personal anchors
    Keep caring - about the things that matter to you.
  • Encourage others to remain grounded in what really matters to them
    Find your personal way of maintaining perspective. Get frequent support from those you trust.
  • Avoid feeling overwhelmed
    Don’t try to do the impossible. Concentrate on where you can make a difference. Say a reasonable ‘no’ more often. If something feels wrong, respectfully question or challenge it.
  • Make conscious and deliberate choices
    You always have choices, even if some appear un-appetising. Help others to recognise their available choices. Remember what you do now - and how you do it.

Ref: Centre for Innovation in Health Management, 2011

Hamel & Valikangas, (2003)

"Resilience is not about responding to a one time crisis…it’s about continuously anticipating and adjusting…It is about having the capacity for change before the need for change becomes obvious. The goal is an organisation that is making its future rather than defending its past.”

Avey, Luthans and Jensen (2009)

“…resilient individuals are better equipped to deal with the stressors in a constantly changing workplace environment, as they are open to new experiences, are flexible to changing demands and show more emotional stability when faced with adversity.”

How can we help you further?

If there are any other topics or areas that you would like to see covered on this site, or if you have general feedback on the site please do let us know.

Email us