Building resilience from adversity

If you were to ask me what’s the one quality all great business leaders have, my answer would be resilience – the “human ability to bounce back emotionally after adversity or trauma”.

Setbacks and failures are par for the course for a business leader, be it an unsuccessful attempt to grow the company or the loss of a crucial employee. It’s the response to a setback that dictates whether a bump in the road sees the business spin out of control or merely change direction.

Psychologist Jo Maddocks and his team have developed a four-stage process to help business leaders cope with adversity by changing their attitude and behaviour. It’s an approach that involves leaders becoming aware of how they respond to and learn from adversity and how these behaviours align with resilience as we know it.

Stage 1: Survive

Distressing events put our brains and bodies into survival mode – but this means different things for different leaders. Some leaders will try to fight fire with fire, whilst others will withdraw and try to take stock of what’s happened.

The attitudes and behaviours that are particularly relevant during the survive stage are:

· Self-regard: Looking after yourself – accepting and valuing yourself
· Regard for others: Accepting and valuing others
· Emotional expression & control: Being able to control your emotions
· Conflict handling: How well you handle conflict

Stage 2: Adapt

Once you’ve had the chance to absorb what’s happened, it’s about adapting to the situation and seeking support where needed:

The key behaviours and attitudes are:

· Self-awareness: Being aware of your own physiology, feelings and intuitions
· Awareness of others: Tuning into the feelings of others
· Flexibility: Adapting your thinking and your behaviour, depending on the situation
· Interdependence: The ability to balance yourself while taking others into account

Stage 3: Recover

Having adapted to the new circumstances, it’s now time to bounce back, ideally to the point before the setback.

The key behaviours and attitudes are:

· Emotional resilience: Being able to pick yourself up and bounce back when things go awry
· Personal power: The belief that you’re in charge of your own destiny
· Goal directedness: Tying your behaviour to long-term goals
· Balanced outlook: Having a clear vision, which balances optimism with realism

Stage 4: Thrive

Adversity provides the opportunity for personal growth and improvement, so that you can better deal with future adversities.

The key behaviours and attitudes are:

· Connecting with others: Being able to make significant connections with other people
· Authenticity: Inviting the trust of others by being principled, reliable, consistent and known
· Trust: Your own personal propensity to trust others
· Reflective learning: Enhancing emotional intelligence by reflecting on what you and others feel, think and do

Adversity can be a positive thing, providing you have access and awareness of how you process difficult situations so that you can make any necessary mindset and behavioural changes, therefore developing your resilience.

Gaining that self-awareness often comes from conversations with others in an open and honest setting. At Agnentis Partners, we’re used to having those types of honest conversations with leaders.

By | 2018-01-30T09:57:26+00:00 January 26th, 2018|0 Comments

About the Author:

Raymond Holt
Raymond is a Partner and Director of Agnentis Partners, a company which works directly with business owners inspiring them on their journey to achieve their business and personal vision, whilst achieving a balanced lifestyle. Contact Raymond directly on +44 (0) 20 3196 3500 for a one-to-one conversation.

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