The fast-paced advancements in technology and the evolving nature of work have introduced numerous potential stressors for employees, leaving many unsure of how to navigate these changes and maintain productivity. However, one effective strategy for managing workplace pressures is by cultivating resilience. Resilience can help individuals cope with crises, especially in high-stress occupations, as it involves a set of behaviors rather than just a personal trait (de Terte & Stephens, 2014). Through training interventions, employees can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to become more resilient, as resilience is a trainable behavior (Zautra, Hall & Murray, 2010; King, Newman & Luthans, 2016).
Table of Contents
What is Resilience?
According to de Terte and Stephens (2014), resilience is characterized by an individual’s capacity to utilize mental and emotional strategies to manage and overcome a crisis in a workplace. Those who exhibit resilience possess emotional and behavioral abilities that allow them to maintain composure while working in an office environment and recover swiftly once the crisis has passed. Furthermore, they are capable of moving forward without experiencing any lasting negative effects, despite having been through a crisis.
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines resilience as , the procedure and result of effectively adapting to challenging life experiences. It involves having the necessary mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility to adjust to internal and external demands (APA, n.d.).
Amit Sood, MD, a member of the Everyday Health Wellness Advisory Board, who also serves as the executive director of the Global Center for Resiliency and Well-Being and the creator of the Resilient Option program, explains that, resilience is the ability to endure adversity, bounce back and grow despite life’s setbacks.
Importance of resilience in a personal context
Resilience is the emotional fortitude that enables individuals to cope with trauma, hardship, and adversity by utilizing their resources, skills, and strengths to overcome challenges and setbacks. In contrast, individuals who lack resilience are more susceptible to feeling overwhelmed or helpless, which can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as avoidance, isolation, and self-medication.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in May 2022, individuals with higher resilience, coping abilities, and emotional intelligence tend to have better overall well-being and life satisfaction than those with lower resilience. Similarly, a study from the February 2022 issue of Psychology, Health & Medicine surveying 1,032 college-goers revealed that emotional resilience was associated with reduced stress and improved life satisfaction during the initial phase of COVID-19.
Research has also found a significant correlation between low resilience scores and attempted suicide, with individuals who had attempted suicide having much lower resilience scale scores than those who had not.
Resilient individuals still experience stress, setbacks, and difficult emotions, but they draw upon their strengths and seek support from their networks to overcome challenges and work through problems. Resilience empowers individuals to accept and adapt to their circumstances, allowing them to move forward. As Dr. Sood explains, resilience is the major strength that enables individuals to handle the weight of life.
Importance of resilience in the professional context
- Offers better training opportunities:
As resilience is considered a situational factor in the workplace, professionals can create training programs to teach individuals the necessary skills to become more resilient (King et al., 2016). Moreover, personal growth training programs, which involve cognitive transformation, can help individuals identify new opportunities, re-evaluate traumatic experiences, and view them as opportunities for growth (Tebes et al., 2004).
2. Offers better chances of developing relationships:
By developing resilience, employees can enhance their relationships with others, both by forming new connections and by strengthening existing ones (King et al., 2016). Executive coaching is also a valuable tool in building resilience.
An experimental study conducted on 41 executives showed that those who received 360-degree feedback, a half-day leadership workshop, and four individual coaching sessions for a proper tenure experienced significant increases in resilience and workplace well-being compared to a control group. Participants reported that coaching helped them gain self-confidence and personal insight (Grant, Curtayne & Burton, 2009).
The benefits of practicing resilience regularly
- The wellbeing of the employees
While organizations can address workload issues, building resilience skills directly benefits the psychological well-being of employees by enabling them to reframe their perception of stress. When employees are healthy and happy, they are more engaged, which drives quality, retention, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
In today’s fast-paced business world, change is inevitable, and developing resilience among leaders, managers, and front-line employees is critical to navigating this uncertainty. This need for resilience is even more apparent in the wake of a global pandemic.
- Growth and innovation
In today’s business climate, innovation is essential for survival, and companies need to continually upgrade their capabilities. This requires employees to work continuously on maintaining and improving their skills. However, when managers place highly motivated and capable employees in new situations or roles, the short-term learning curve can be steep, affecting morale and resilience. This is where training can play a crucial role.
Strained interpersonal relationships are one of the primary reasons resilience is put to the test in the workplace. Leaders can help employees develop resilience by identifying common behaviors associated with a lack of resilience. By doing so, employees can learn to examine their thoughts and reframe their interpretation of the situation, which can improve team dynamics and reduce negative feelings among team members.
- Improved mental health
Resilience refers to a person’s ability to adapt and recover from difficult situations. When a person is resilient, they are better able to bounce back from setbacks and challenges, rather than being overwhelmed by them. This ability to cope with adversity has been linked to better mental health outcomes, including lower rates of stress, anxiety, and depression. By developing resilience, individuals can become better equipped to deal with the demands of daily life and maintain good mental health.
- Career development
Employees who are motivated to improve their skills and abilities can gain significant benefits from learning how to manage challenging work situations, such as negative feedback or conflict resolution. By developing resilience, individuals can better cope with these situations, which can result in improved job performance, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. Managers who have a good understanding of the dynamics of resilience can provide effective coaching and support to their employees, helping them to navigate difficult situations and ultimately enhancing their professional growth and development.
The challenges to cultivate resilience
When attempting to cultivate resilience, individuals may face several challenges that can hinder their progress. One of the significant challenges is
Negative self-talk, which refers to the critical and harsh internal dialogue that one has with oneself. Negative self-talk can limit an individual’s ability to cope with stress and negatively impact their mental health. It can also affect one’s self-esteem and confidence, leading to a lack of motivation and decreased productivity.
Limiting beliefs is another challenge that can impede resilience. Limiting beliefs are deeply held beliefs that one has about themselves, others, or the world, which can limit their ability to cope with adversity. For example, an individual may have a limiting belief that they are not good enough to succeed in a particular task or job, which can lead to self-doubt and limit their ability to bounce back from setbacks.
Overcoming these challenges requires developing a growth mindset, which involves reframing negative self-talk and challenging limiting beliefs. It also involves developing positive coping strategies, such as seeking support from others, engaging in self-care activities, and practicing mindfulness and gratitude. By doing so, individuals can build resilience and thrive in the face of adversity.
How can coaching help individuals overcome these challenges and develop resilience ?
Establishing an effective coaching relationship is a crucial aspect of the coaching process, particularly when working with young people to develop wellbeing and resilience. A positive relationship with a trusted adult can help support young people in their journey. This relationship is built on core principles that include optimism, empathy, trust, perspective, and challenge. For the coaching relationship to be effective, the coach must believe in the young person’s potential and have hope that they can take responsibility for their own aims, actions, and progress. Essential coaching skills such as active listening, asking questions, and suggesting suitable activities are used to boost various skills and abilities that are essential for wellbeing and resilience.
Coaching individuals for resilience
By engaging in the coaching process, individuals can cultivate personal resources, interpersonal skills, and emotional management, leading to an increased awareness of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This newfound understanding helps them effectively navigate challenging situations and develop essential resources for resilience and wellbeing.
At uExcelerate, the coaching approach empowers workers to take control of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, leading to improvements in confidence, self-worth, resilience, and mental wellbeing. This approach fosters self-regulation, a crucial component of resilience. As a result of coaching, employees have reported feeling happier, calmer, and less stressed.
Develop a growth mindset: To have a growth mindset means to hold the belief that with effort and perseverance, abilities and skills can be developed. Coaching involves seeing challenges as opportunities for learning and personal development.
Practice self-care: Coaching aims to maintain your overall well-being by prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Create a supportive network: Coaching surrounds you with a supportive network which can be beneficial for fostering resilience. Seeking support from a coach, manager or mentor can be helpful during times of need.
Take up new challenges: Coaching helps an individual step outside their comfort zone and work on new things. It motivates people to learn a new skill or take on a new project.
Develop a positive attitude: Coaching helps a person to remain optimistic and concentrate on solutions instead of issues. It helps to reframe negative conditions and look for opportunities for better growth.
Specific coaching tips & techniques to practice resilience:
People often use various coaching tips and techniques to practice resilience and effectively manage stress. Though some people may have innate resilience, going can make it more thorough and practicing with deliberate efforts. Whether you’re facing difficulties or desire to be equipped for possible future obstacles, you can cultivate resilience with these coaching tips:
Reframing negative thoughts: This involves challenging negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. When a negative thought arises, ask yourself if it is true, and if there is evidence to support it. Then, a coach tries to reframe the thought in a more positive or neutral light. For example, rather than “I can’t do this,” they help you think “This is challenging, but I will do my best.”
Building a growth mindset: This involves cultivating a belief that your abilities and qualities can be developed through dedication and hard work. To build a growth mindset, encourage yourself to embrace challenges and view failures as opportunities to learn and grow. Set goals for yourself and focus on the progress you make, rather than just the end result.
Practicing self-care: Caring for your physical, emotional, and mental health can help you build resilience. With coaching, you can gain self-confidence, self-awareness, and empathy for yourself to enjoy sufficient sleep, consume a healthy diet, exercise periodically, and engage in action that bring you relaxation and happiness.
Developing a strong support network: Having a coach makes you gain emotional support and guidance to bounce back from difficult situations. Reach out to friends, family members, or a professional therapist when you need support.
Cultivating gratitude: A coach helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life to maintain a more positive outlook and build resilience. Take time each day to reflect on things you are grateful for, and try to find joy in small moments throughout your day.
These techniques can be practiced in coaching sessions and also incorporated into daily life to build resilience over time.
Conclusion on the Role of coaching in developing resilience
Resilience brings too many benefits to your workplace and this is why businesses take the help of coaching. It promotes improved communication and establishes a collaborative and competitive business environment. It further enhances problem-solving skills and reduces burnout and absenteeism. With resilience, you can boost performance and make your work environment more cooperative and positive.
Coaching helps develop resilience to withstand adversity and grow regardless of the different downturns in life. It prepares a person to take action during the time of adversity. It further enhances the ability of better decision-making in complex systems to take effective actions. All in all, with coaching a company can deal with high-profile situations using their resilient behavior.
uExcelerate coaching solutions will help in developing a high-performance culture to facilitate engaged and outcome-oriented resilience results that focus on bringing out the best in employees. Our coaches understand the requirement of the individual, the competencies needed for their responsibilities, and the areas they need resilience in and fill in the gaps in their current performance to boost results. It further helps create a high-performing culture in the company.