The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Cultivate Resiliency BEFORE You Need it

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Tuesday, January 01, 2019
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Whether you are heading a Fortune 100 company or leading an enterprise of one, sometime in the course of this year, you will be called upon to be resilient.  Whether pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities, resiliency is now an on-going life skill. This raises the question: why wait to develop resiliency skills?I believe in PREsilience™ - preemptive resilience. These are skills and actions that can be cultivated, developed and taken BEFORE necessity strikes.

Resilience is complex, multidimensional, personal as well as professional. Presilience is practicing now, building preemptive resources within yourself, your organization and your world.

Consider these taking four simple actions now to help you develop a resiliency muscle:

1. Develop a support network.These are people you can turn to for ideas, for moral support, and for truth telling.  A support network is not comprised of “yes” folks but rather people who care enough to offer critical insights as well as critiques.

In our personal lives, these are people who will bring the food in, watch the kids, and offer a shoulder. Support networks take time to grow and must be nurtured as carefully as a newly planted garden.  Consider what happened to Mary, the vice president of marketing in a global company. Relationships took a backseat in her “get-the-job-done-take-no prisoners” mindset.  When a new CEO took over, Mary found few in her department who would speak in her favor as the CEO looked for other personnel to fill Mary’s role.  Ouch!  Too late.

2. Hone the skill of intelligent optimism.  Nothing drains our mantel and physical more than negativity. Intelligent optimism is the practice of finding what is right or possible in a situation instead of what is wrong. It’s hard work because, for some unknown reasons, humans are more prone to negative thinking instead of positive. Without getting into an empirical battle on positivity ratios, the fact remains that a positive outlook promotes better cognition and well-being.  Consider teaming with an optimism partner, someone who will gentle point out negative statements and visa versa. Unlike the Pollyanna of story fame, most of us are not hard-wired for optimism. But it can be developed.

3. Exercise regularly. Might sound trite but times of challenge or opportunity demand energy resources. It’s too late to build up reserves of muscle, blood and bone if you have neglected your body for years. Firefighters have gym equipment in the firehouse and practice a steady regimen to improve their strength so they are READY when called into action. You are no different. As Baden Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts said of their “be prepared” motto: “the meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.” Sounds like presilience to me!

4. Say thank you. Gratitude is the Miracle-Gro for resiliency. If you can end each day with writing down three things for which you are grateful, the germ of optimism sprouts and you reinforce your sense of self-worth. Some days, it might be gratitude that the day is over and you are still standing. Other days, you are grateful for a new idea, for a client interaction, for a great meal, whatever.

If you need help with resilient purchase my book "Your Resiliency GPS: A Guide for Growing through Life and Work".  It's a guidebook for dealing with change and makes a great gift.

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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