How to Be More Adaptable and Resilient

Sections of this topic

    How to Be More Adaptable and Resilient

    What is Resilience?
    Career Resilience: How to Bounce Back From Challenges
    Adaptability and Resiliency in Leadership
    Test – How Resilient Are You?
    How to Develop More Adaptability and Resilience

    Also consider


    Related Library Topics

    What is Resilience?

    Harold Cohen, PhD,
    defines resilience in practical terms:

    When faced with a tragedy, natural disaster, health concern, relationship,
    work, or school problem, resilience is how well a person can adapt to the
    events in their life. A person with good resilience has the ability to bounce
    back more quickly and with less stress than someone whose resilience is less

    Career Resilience – How to Bounce Back from

    Copyright, Marcia Zidle

    “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t
    work.” – American inventor, Thomas Edison

    Edison, despite struggling with failure throughout his work life, never let
    it get the best of him. He kept experimenting and learning. His resilience gave
    the world the light bulb as well as these amazing inventions phonograph, the
    telegraph, and the motion picture.

    Do you have Edison’s resilience to overcome your challenges? Or do you
    let your failures or missteps derail your dreams? In this post and the next,
    I’ll examine resilience – what it is, why we need it, and how to
    develop it – so that you have the strength to keep on moving forward towards
    your goals.

    The Importance of Resilience

    Resilience is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t
    go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they
    acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.
    According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three
    elements that are essential to resilience:

    1. Challenge

    Resilient people view a difficulty as a challenge, not as a paralyzing event.
    They look at their failures and mistakes as lessons to be learned from, and
    as opportunities for growth. They don’t view them as a negative reflection
    on their abilities or self-worth.

    2. Commitment

    Resilient people are committed to their lives and their goals. Commitment isn’t
    just restricted to their work – they commit to their relationships, their
    friendships, the causes they care about, and their religious or spiritual beliefs.

    3. Personal Control

    Resilient people spend their time and energy focusing on situations and events
    that they have control over. Because they put their efforts where they can have
    the most impact, they feel empowered and confident. Those who spend time worrying
    about uncontrollable events can often feel lost, helpless, and powerless to
    take action.

    In other words, resilient people:

    • Maintain a positive outlook, despite having just lost a promotion or getting
      turned down for a job. They don’t allow present circumstances to cloud
      their vision of themselves or their future.
    • Have solid goals in all parts of your life. This gives you a compelling
      reason to get out of bed in the morning.
    • Never think of yourself as a victim. – focus your time and energy
      on changing the things that they have control over.

    It’s inevitable that at times we’re going to fail, make mistakes,
    have setbacks and occasionally fall flat on our faces. The only way to avoid
    this is to live a very sheltered life never trying anything new or taking a
    risk. Few of us want a life or career like that!

    See Part
    of this article.

    Adaptability and Resiliency in

    By Steve

    Adaptability and Resiliency as Overlooked Leadership Qualities

    In my mind the unsung hero of effective leadership are two related and overlapping
    qualities: adaptability and resiliency. The ability and, probably more importantly,
    the willingness of a leader to adapt his or her thinking, behavior, or strategy
    based on changing circumstances, miscalculations, or other factors, is a historically
    underrated quality that is starting to get its due in this rapidly changing
    world. And maybe even more so than adaptability, resiliency — discussed
    here as the capacity to bounce back from perceived and actual mishaps, set-backs,
    and adversity — has been overlooked as a leadership competency.

    Research on Resiliency

    I recently read that Ceridian Corporation conducted a study and published an
    executive briefing on organizational resilience. They arrived at the conclusion
    that resilient organizations are those that are able to respond to two seemingly
    paradoxical imperatives: 1) managing for performance (enhanced by consistency,
    efficiency, and immediate results) and 2) managing for adaptation (enhanced
    by innovation, improvisation, anticipation, and commitment to long-term benefits).

    In my mind what is reflected here is a mindset that embraces disruption to
    organizational plans, strategy, and operating procedures, as normal and inevitable.
    The leader that maintains this mindset does not react with shock, dismay, or
    confusion to disruption of the best laid plans. Instead, he or she is eager
    to analyze the circumstances, ascertain the meaning behind the unexpected, and
    determine whether there are appropriate adjustments to be made. In addition,
    leaders demonstrating this type of leadership are able to build more resilient
    direct reports, teams, and ultimately organizations.

    Origins of Resiliency

    It is the viewpoint of many psychologists and sociology experts that resiliency
    is a quality that is partly inbred and partly developed through childhood experiences
    and modeling. The problem with this viewpoint is that it presumes that a person’s
    level of resiliency is pretty much set by the time they are in early to middle
    adulthood. It is my opinion that a certain amount of resiliency – definitely
    enough to make a difference as an organizational leader – can be developed
    in adults simply by embracing a worldview that change, disruption, and mishaps
    are as normal and predictable in organizations as salaries and vacation days.
    Or perhaps it is more analogous with the sentiments I heard expressed by a veteran
    of the Iraq conflict: “It is a given, no plan ever survives first contact”.

    Test – How Resilient Are You?

    Take this short on-line test.

    How Resilient Are You?

    So how resilient are you? The articles in the following topic include suggestions
    for becoming more resilient.

    How to Develop More Adaptability and Resilience

    Benefits of Being Adaptable
    Adaptability is Key to Success
    Positive! Resilient and Adaptable Teams are Key to Business Success
    What are Resilience
    and Adaptability Skills
    Increase Your Adaptability Make it Personal
    in the Workplace: Strategies and Importance

    Also consider



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    and Inclusion



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