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Getting and Keeping Your Groove

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Maya Angelou, 1928-2014, American writer and civil rights activist

Adults are often told that we must develop our resilience; but what is it actually, and what is it not? According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you're able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. However, resilience isn't about putting up with something difficult, being stoic or figuring it out on your own. In fact, being able to reach out to others for support is a key part of being resilient.”

In the Exchange Essentials article collection, “Caring for Yourself and Your Team” Rachel Robertson and Helen Zarba contribute an article called “Getting and Keeping Your Groove: Building Resilience in Adults.” They have this to say about resilience:

Have you ever had a work day when your spouse, kids, house, bills, health, or other personal issues didn’t enter your mind? Neither have we. We bring all of our issues with us wherever we go. And the challenges we face impact our work productivity. If an employer wants the best from us, it is in their best interest to support our resilience. (So if you’re an employer keep reading. If you’re an employee figure out a way to leave this article casually on your employer’s desk.)

What You Can Do
First, employers/supervisors must model good resilience-building behaviors. Nothing you suggest will have credibility if you don’t do it yourself. In modeling resilience-building behaviors, you give your employees permission to take care of themselves. This is not extra work for you, but an integral part of your role in keeping productive and effective employees.

Research on resilience points to the following categories as key:
    • positive relationships,
    • achievement,
    • control,
    • meaning, and
    • engagement.

These categories work together, like links in a chain, to form a strong internal capacity for resilience.

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