Rewiring the brain to build resilience and resolve

In these times of change and uncertainty, organisations which remain successful have identified and invited resilient and resolute employees to take their place as leaders within the business.

The case for nurturing resilience and resolve (Rr) at work is well documented, particularly in terms of the positive impact these qualities can have on both individual and organisational performance.

A recent Gallup study found that resilience alone is worth the business investment. It found that an increase of 5% in employee resilience led to an annual ROI of approx. $1 million for a workforce of 1,000 employees on an average salary of $50,000pa.

These results will not come as a surprise to leaders aware of the interdependencies between Rr, employee engagement and wellbeing. The challenge, and opportunity, now facing businesses is how to nurture resilience and resolve in the workplace effectively in order to unlock a greater potential?

We each have the capacity to rewire our brains and improve our own resilience and resolve. By focusing attention on these 6 attributes, you too can enhance your Rr profile:

  • Self-awareness
    Those with a superior Rr profile have the ability to recognise their stress markers and slow the trajectory towards elevated levels of stress.
  • Directed attention
    The ability to focus our attention on the here and now is an invaluable skill that is critical to short-circuiting the unhelpful stress spiral. Not letting our minds drift to ‘what could have been’ or even worse, ‘what else can go wrong’ in times of stress in very important, as is the ability to focus on the present in order to maximise our cognitive resources on overcoming the challenges we face.
  • Self-enquiry
    Another essential trait of the resilient and resolute individual is their capacity to consciously challenge some of the negative talk that can easily take over in times of stress and adversity. Asking helpful questions such as ‘What is within my control?’, and ‘What are some good options for me to tackle this challenge?’ can help to direct our thinking towards a solution focus.
  • Adversity appraisal
    When we are experiencing high levels of stress, it is often due to our perceived inability to meet the demands of the challenges we face. Employees with high levels of Rr often invest their energy to break down the size of the challenges they face in order to better appraise whether those challenges are indeed beyond their means to resolve.
  • Solution test
    By properly examining what is within their control and influence, resilient and resolute individuals create diverse strategies to achieve their goals, overcome setbacks and keep moving forward; knowing that plans don’t always work out as intended.
  • Seek insight
    Individuals with the strongest Rr profiles are those that can find the opportunity within each of life’s challenges. Instead of focusing on ‘What could have been?’ these individuals focus their attention on ‘What can be’learned from adversity in order to bounce forward.

The ability to positively adapt when faced with a significant change or unexpected consequence is the ultimate characteristic of the resilient and resolute individual, and these qualities are in short supply from the frontline to the boardroom.

Can you afford not to invest in building your Rr profile?


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