According to a paper entitled Attachment and Emotional Resilience published by the University of Essex, “resilience is not just a matter of constitutional strength or a robust temperament, it is also a product of how people perceive, appraise, approach and tackle stresses and challenges.” Resilience is also defined in a PBS article as “the capacity to adapt successfully in the face of threats or disaster. “ In ordinary parlance, it is the ability to bounce back after anadversity.
Resilience and Inflexibility
In general, we humans are profoundly gifted and ingenious when it comes to problem solving which makes us more flexible and stronger when faced with stress. As children, we are more resilient. We fall down or trip but we get up again without any difficulty. But, with the increasing challenge of the modern world we are all faced with insurmountable pressure not only from the workplace but from society in its entirety. Thus, there is a need to be more resilient both in body and spirit.
Unfortunately, the ability of man to manage and control pressure appears to have diminished. As we grow older we somehow developed inflexibility towards the unpredictable and lose our ability to change course. Maybe some of us might have lost it, but resilience can be re-learned with the help of resilience training
Why is resilience your bullet-proof vest?
A quote in a Harvard Business Review article written by Diane L. Coutu, author of the booksWhen Change Comes Undone and How Resilience Works, pointed out that:
“More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.”
Resilient human beings are able to take advantage of their inner strength and flexibility to manage and bounce back from an adverse situation such as financial loss, death of a loved one, illness, divorce, job loss and more.
Those who donot have this attribute are vanquished by such adversities. They are not able to move on and even employ damaging means to cope with the problems resulting in more problems.
Reflection of Resilience
In the workplace or in business, people with a high level of resilience can face up to reality, are able to conform and accommodate feedbacks and criticism, change if there is a need for change and, with confidence, march toward success. Their optimism carries them through destructive repudiations and helps them keep breaking new grounds with a better perspective. They are able to stay on course with a clear view of their objectives and continue to forge ahead in the thick of hardships and set backs.
An article on the New York Times, draws a picture of Abraham Lincoln as the perfect personification of resilience. Meanwhile, his management style as president of the United States, which the article aptly called the Lincoln school of management, is a reflection of what exceptional leadership is all about.