Step 1: Where are you now?
From a coaching perspective, we often begin with this question. Because, in order to move towards our goals, we first need to understand our starting point. What good is a map if we don’t know where we are in the first place?
The Insights Discovery model for resilience looks at eight critical factors associated with resilient behaviour. We can build a robust approach to personal resilience by addressing each of the eight factors in turn via a basic coaching framework.
More about working with resilience.
Factor 1: Self-Awareness. As with coaching and emotional intelligence, at the heart of the Insights Resilience model is the need for self-awareness. Without self-awareness and self-reflection, we struggle to identify the issues clearly – or even where we need to start.
Factor 2: Acceptance. A second resilience factor is acceptance. This requires us to see and accept the reality of our situation. We need to be realistic about what can and cannot be changed.
A coach needs to use their skills here to help the coachee develop their self-awareness. A superficial description of someone’s current job or role, and the response that “everything’s fine”, are not useful responses!
Self-awareness and self-reflection are critical. We need the courage to look within ourselves and question whether we accept where we are now or whether we have been ignoring our potential for change and improvement.
Be honest with yourself
We need to focus on our daily routine, our lives and our jobs and take a long hard look on what increases our levels of wellbeing and happiness – and also what causes unnecessary levels of stress, anxiety or general discontent.
We are often aware that we feel stressed without necessarily understanding the root cause. Heightening our awareness of our personal stress triggers can be helpful in building a more resilient approach. Our workshops – “Resilience in a Remote World” and “Leading with Resilience” – look at stress triggers and stress responses, both in ourselves and others, through the lens of the Insights colour energies.
There is no doubt that some people find it easier than others to focus on the reality of their situation and can be realistic about what is working well and what is not. In her article “How Resilience Works” (HBR May 2002), Diane Coutu describes this as the ability to face down reality. This is not the same as optimism, since optimism may be founded on a wholly unrealistic assessment of one’s situation. Accepting the reality of our situation means we take a long hard look at both positive and negative aspects and we don’t give undue weight to either in our assessment. This can apply in equal measure to business or personal life.
Focus on your own news …
Throughout the pandemic, I have had the circle of influence – a circle of concern – knocking around in my head. We have been bombarded with bad news and awful statistics day after day for nearly a year. This can feel overwhelming and increase our anxiety and stress significantly.
For me, it has been helpful to focus on my circle of influence – those things over which I have some control and are within my sphere of influence. For many of us a great deal of that “bad news” sits in our circle of concern – things we worry about but do not have any control or influence over. Consequently, this can create negative energy that is a drain on our resilience.
Proactive people focus their attention on things they can do something about (their circle of influence). This positive energy increases our circle of influence and diminishes our circle of concern, creating even more positive energy. Learning to let go of “bad news” to keep our attention on matters in our circle of influence is an excellent exercise to improve acceptance and flex our resilience muscles on a daily basis.