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Know Your Resilience Reservoir

My Resilience Reservoir

One of the topics I’ve worked with, both on myself and with clients, is the concept of resilience. I use and example below about how I tested myself in one particular situation and a concept I describe as my personal resilience reservoir, but I would like to discuss a few points about resilience first. Resilience is not about being able to cope with everything and anything, that is being superhuman. Resilience is about having staying power and coping with contingency, new conditions and changed circumstances. It is about being able to take knocks and being able to bounce back. When the only thing we can depend on is change, resilience becomes a crucial quality to possess.

There are many situations where we need to draw on our reserves of resilience. We are often faced with changes at work, the days of a holding down a steady job are long gone. We are often asked to change organisations, change job roles, maybe move to inconvenient locations. The issue I discuss about my own resilience below is related to new technology. Many people have to work hard to cope with the demands of the Internet based world and we regularly need to learn new skills in order to remain competent. On a more immediate level we need our staying power when frustrated by people changing meetings or not turning up for appointments. It is easy to let frustration take over when what we need is the resilience to stick to our objectives and plans and have the ability to change them when necessary.

Over recent months I have been working with an NHS organisation. On a recent Zoom (a digital conferencing platform) call, we gathered delegates from across the country and held a “virtual” mini workshop.

This tested my resilience and staying power as it was working with technology that I’m less comfortable with, it was easier for me to do something else, but I stuck with it and I knew I would feel a sense of achievement if I just gave it a go. I did, and I loved it. I was initially challenged by my inability to connect to the Zoom platform, but I used my contacts to find someone who could help me get in (it took a while).

Interestingly the Zoom workshop focused on resilience and what resilience meant to all of us. It certainly got me thinking

In my work as an Organisational Development Consultant, with groups and teams within the English NHS, previously an NHS Director, previously Psychotherapist, previously Probation Officer, there is a theme here…. I recognise that one of the things that helps build my resilience is the change I’ve discussed above. For me this is about a constant change of environment, change in work practice, change in colleagues, change in work pressures, change in the content of the job itself, doing and learning something different, the feel of something new.

For me I think, feel and see my resilience as a reservoir about knowing myself and what to do more of and less off. I feel I am at my most resilient pushing myself, sometimes, but not all the time. Trying something new, looking for inspiration in every corner, about knowing my limits and allowing myself to have a bad day.

To fill my resilience reservoir, I need time for me, for myself, time to exercise, to look and find inspiration everywhere in the ordinariness of life. Some would say these are luxuries, but I know if I am running on empty then my resilience it not good. My work will suffer and so will I.

What I continue to learn and believe, what we give out we somehow get back. It’s about being KIND

Thank you, Ambassadors, for adding to my “resilience reservoir”.

Maybe you would like to think about how you develop your own resilience, how you top up your own reservoir? Sometimes it’s about having the right people to talk to when you feel overwhelmed, sometimes it is about being able to look at matters from a different angle and sometimes it is just a matter of attitude, remaining positive and trusting yourself.

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