Blue Flower

I had the great pleasure of visiting Northeastern and Harvard Universities this week. On the railings at Harvard were the messages in the photos. Well worth zooming in and reading... makes you think...

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Harvard 2

Why resilience doesn't mean what you think it means

iPhone photography

Resilience is one of the hottest topics in HR. People love to talk about it. It's one of the first things we think of when we talk about wellbeing. We dream of more resilient teams who rarely, if ever, crack under pressure.

But is resilience training really just about learning how to "not get stressed out"? The way we talk about resilience can sometimes conjure up images of a superhuman, standing silent and stoic while being pelted by rubble. Even when the volume of rubble increases, they remain unphased and undeterred. Is that how we want to learn to be?

Resilience is not an unwavering ability to shrug off stress. Unlike this superhuman figure, resilient people still feel stressed in high-pressure situations.

Robertson Cooper founder Ivan Robertson discusses how resilience is not an "all or nothing" quality. "There are different aspects to resilience," he explains. "Of course, there are some people who are pretty strong on everything and there are some people who may struggle in most of the areas to retain in their resilience. But most of us have strengths and weaknesses."

It's not about being "resilient" and "not resilient". We all draw resilience from somewhere. For most people, it's about being aware of the areas we rely on most and how that means we are likely to respond in certain situations.

What do you know about your resilience? Take Robertson Cooper's i-Resilience survey to find out where you draw your resilience from.

 

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