Editor’s note: These tips are excerpted from The TRACOM Group’s workbook, “Developing a Resilient Mindset.”
Filter — How you filter information and interpret the world.
- Personal Responsibility is the belief that successes or failures at work are determined by one’s own talents and motivations as opposed to external forces such as luck or good timing. Those who are high in personal responsibility believe they control their own destiny and attribute events to their own traits. Rather than relying on external factors such as luck to achieve objectives, they look inward to their own talents and motivations and attempt to exert control over situations.
- Realistic Optimism is the tendency to see the world in a positive way but remain grounded in reality. Those with realistic optimism expect the future to be good, but they remain aware that challenges may arise and things won’t always go as expected. This kind of mild optimism is a crucial aspect of resiliency because it instills people with motivation while allowing them to anticipate and plan for challenges.
- Personal Beliefs is the sense that life has deep meaning and purpose. Personal beliefs may take the form of religious observance, spirituality, or devotion to a particular value system or cause. People with a high degree of personal beliefs believe things happen for a reason and feel connected to causes or values they believe are larger than themselves.
Act — How you handle challenges.
- Self-Assurance is the belief in oneself to successfully perform at work. People with high self-assurance have confidence in their professional skills and their ability to deal with challenges. Because of this strong self-belief, they approach challenges and shifts in demands without loss of enthusiasm. A strong sense of self-assurance enhances people’s motivation, commitment, and engagement with their work.
- Self-Composure is the ability to manage stress and remain calm under pressure. Those who are high in self-composure deal with challenges rationally without allowing their emotions to take over and drive decisions.
- Problem Solving is the ability to plan and resolve problems effectively. Those with a high degree of problem-solving ability generate innovative solutions to problems. They take the time to gather relevant information and plan carefully, using reason, logic, and creativity to make decisions.
- Goal Orientation is the tendency to set appropriate goals, monitor progress on those goals, and adjust behavior accordingly. Those who are high in goal orientation set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them, monitoring themselves and regulating their behavior along the way.
Interact — How you communicate and connect with others.
- Courageous Communication is the tendency to communicate with others in a candid and courageous way in the face of difficulty. Courageous communicators freely and effectively share their ideas with others, ask questions others might be afraid to ask, and confront problems directly. This skill is critically important for resolving relational conflicts and differences in viewpoints, and allows people to move towards their goals efficiently.
- Social Support is the perception that one is part of a supportive social network. This includes having close confidants and people with whom one can discuss problems. People with a high level of social support feel that they have close confidants who provide comfort and assistance during difficult times.
6 Steps To Building Resilience
1. CAB (Challenge – Automatic Thinking – Behavior & Emotion)/CAR (Challenge – Active Thinking – Realistic Response) Technique: Conscious control over the emotional brain is possible, not by suppressing emotions, but by changing the interpretation that creates the emotion in the first place
2. Developing Mindfulness: “Mindfulness isn’t difficult. What’s difficult is to remember to be mindful.” – John Teasdale.
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3. Acting “As If”: Attitude follows behavior. Using specific behaviors and non-verbal techniques can change the way you feel and improve your resilience.
4. Developing Gratitude: Savoring moments releases dopamine, extending your positive mood. It also motivates you to seek out positive experiences.
5. Giving: “Giver burnout” is a myth. In fact, giving (your time, expertise, etc.) is energizing, as long as it is directed towards something you value. Asking for help also enhances resilience.
6. Setting Ambitious Goals: Goals are best designed when they focus not only on the outcome you’d like to achieve (e.g., complete project by end of Q3), but on the process by which you will achieve that outcome (e.g., weekly team status meetings, project milestones).