Success in an Uncertain World: The Power of Resilience

Arden CoachingThe boxer Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” This bit of wisdom has particular relevance in the business world. The question is, how do you respond when things don’t go as planned? How well does your organization adapt and adjust? Resilience is the key.

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, threats, or significant sources of stress. It means bouncing back from difficult experiences — for more about stress and resilience, read an earlier Arden Coaching blog, “Stress and Resilience.”

Resilience is the characteristic that allows some executives, teams, and organizations to learn from mistakes and unexpected obstacles, develop new strategies and directions, and optimistically move forward.

The good news is that the properties of resilience can be intentionally cultivated and strengthened over time. An experienced executive coach will provide a framework and expert insights to speed up the process. Here are some important behaviors and attitudes proven to strengthen individual and organizational resilience.

  1. Build Relationships. Many studies show that the primary factor in resilience is having a caring and supportive network of relationships. Relationships that create mutual support, respect, and trust provide role models and help bolster resilience. Do you have relationships you can count on? Are you helping to build a team or an enterprise-wide culture of positive, interconnected relationships?
  1. Cultivate a Positive View. Develop and nurture confidence in yourself, your team, and your organization’s skills. Build the capacity to solve problems. Look for opportunities for learning and self-discovery in virtually any situation.
  1. Encourage Diversity of Thought. Increasingly, new research demonstrates that groups of people who hold similar values, but have different ways of approaching problems and styles of thinking out-perform, and are more resilient than, groups who analyze, assess, and think about challenges in similar ways. Build your relationships and teams with this in mind.
  1. Move Consistently Toward Your Goals. Many believe that “thinking big” and “swinging for the fences” is the way to get things done. Instead of focusing on goals that will seem unachievable to your team, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know we can accomplish this quarter, or the remainder of this fiscal year, that helps us move the business in the direction we want to go?” Make realistic plans and act on them.
  1. Take Action! Act decisively in difficult and unfavorable situations. Don’t detach from problems, passively allow drawbacks or poor results to take their own course, or let your team take cover when things don’t go as planned. Your action may not be successful all the time, but you’ll build a stronger sense of purpose, control, and resilience.

With the first quarter of 2018 just ended, how are you employing resilience to adapt and adjust? For more, read an earlier Arden Coaching blog, “Resilience in Leadership: 5 Ways to Bounce Back.” It’s an uncertain world — things will go wrong! Don’t just hope for the best. For long-term success, no matter what the circumstances, build your resilience.

To learn more about how executive coaching can build and enhance individual and organizational resilience, contact us at [email protected] or 646.844.2233.