Blue Flower


When we talk about resilience, one of the aspects that emerge for police is that of isolation. It is a funny old occupation in this respect, throwing a large amount of emotional and physical challenges at officers; and their family and friends. For some, these challenges can result in feeling very isolated from the general population. Similar experiences have been reported from members of the armed forces, paramedics, social workers and teachers. There is even some research suggesting that children that grow up in policing families may begin this experience of social isolation as they grow up, especially those that go on to follow in their parents footsteps. The evidence also suggests

We often see the mention of thinking errors when we see articles on resilience. In the space of a few paragraphs I will attempt to demystify just what these are.

On occasion, but hopefully not every one, that little voice in your head may say “I do that!” If you are now thinking, “what little voice?” Well, its that one!

We can broadly split thinking errors into a few broad themes:

All or nothing thinking or black-and-white thinking, here everything is viewed as being either good or bad with nothing in between. Look for shades of grey (not the book – that will only lead to other thoughts!).
 It’s important to avoid thinking about things in terms of extremes; labeling or catastrophising. Jumping to conclusions based on no real evidence is another way of catastrophising. This is quite popular in Blackpool (where I live), with plenty to help you fortune-telling.

Crystal Ball

This is at least as reliable if you want to give it a go? Another popular

After reading the article in HR Magazine on the pros and cons of Resilience programmes, I thought it might be useful to unpack some of the elements of resilience in the context of our working life. Although there are numerous interpretations of what actually amounts to resilience, for the purposes of this piece I intend to view it as our ability to cope with adversity, and our ability to bounce back. Bouncebackability is an interesting concept, coined by that famous academic Ian Dowie, in his description of Crystal Palace’s faltering football season!

Ian Dowie

To break down resilience into bite size chunks, we can look at it in two dimensions initially, those that are dependent on our personality; and skills that can be taught and learned. Dealing with the first, it appears that personality plays a huge part, simply put, some people are naturally more resilient than others. Resilience can also change over time, through life events (eg having children, changing jobs). Some people are resilient in some aspects, and not in others. It is complicated stuff! I would suggest that in some respect, the world of policing doesn’t get off to the greatest of starts in this regard, generally recruiting to traits that include a questioning persona, a propensity to overthink, deeply suspicous; and a smattering of pessimism thrown in for good measure! Hardly forms the basis of the perfect well-being character trait set!

Talent Management has got the public sector scratching its head at the moment. How do we find time and resources to invest in this critical area of business through this unprecedented period of cutbacks and downsizing? We know that to attract, retain and reward quality people is the key to a successful and sustainable business. A recent forum on the discusses some of the key components and offers a number of opinions  from a variety of credible sources.

 Insanity - Einstein

But perhaps we need to do a little 'reframing' for our people?

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