Tag: #resilience

How To become More Resilient – Leadership Skills

Nobody has a soul unscathed. As famously Nietzsche has stated:

“What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Actually, truth be told, it is not easy to be resilient in chaos or adversity; however, research has shown that it can be learned. Stretching our mental muscles and drawing on key questions raised by the great thinkers gives us a leg up to control our thoughts and surpass oneself through the spine-chilling maze of setbacks.

Mindfulness, martial arts, and behaviour change are recommended however lasting success depends on self-reflection. Growth is fueled by practical wisdom and reasoned decision-making. So how to start the introspection to develop resilience?

Training the brain with philosophical counseling session to think clearly at infliction points in our ventures or life is absolutely necessary. The same way we curb the impulse to run for the door in an emergency situation on board of a plane and responsibly follow the instruction to put the oxygen mask first and buckle up, the process of observing our mind and learning from different schools of thoughts will empower us to take charge and develop resilience. The guidance will shape our perceptions and expectations into awareness, and our behaviours will become more productive rather than reactionary. Ultimately, the self-examination and preparation lead to a disciplined mind which helps us to leap over the fatigue caused by the unprecedented events, discord or even malicious situations.

Change Your Perception

“Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.”

The statement was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the adherent of stoic philosophy highlights how perception plays an important role in your responses.  A terrifying event has the potential to be agonizing or not, for it all depends on your perception. Therefore, you have a choice to experience the unfavourable circumstances in dismay or learn the skills to build resilience.

As humans, we can exaggerate stressors, fret and run things over and over in our heads to the point that is uncontrollable. However if you can adopt a positive outlook and reframe disastrous to challenging, you will be able to deal with calamities, learn, grow and move on. A positive change in you perception is not to ignore and distort the reality but to ensure that you have control over your state of mind and emotional response.

Outline Your Expectations

Preparing your mind to question the underlying intentions of your expectations produce a valuable outcome in adversity. Since, the correlation between a challenge, an expectation, the course of action and the end result depend on your disposition. This means that unsettled and implicit intentions, an obscure plan of action or a goal will generate unrealistic expectations leading to resentment. However, the integration of philosophical notions to clarify your intentions influences your response and helps you confront the negative. Meditating on great philosophical ideas to become resilient and recover from adversity breeds self-control. This state of mind nurtures a rational, optimistic outlook to strategically analyze and gain attribution of productive motives from a third-party perspective.

The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power.- Gary Zukav

Manage Your Behaviour

“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It is just sometimes, the end results are unfair, unreasonably or wrongfully against you; however, the philosophical reflection will help you develop mental toughness. Ethically responding in the heat of battle sounds virtuous, yet, might not be practical as it is easier said than done! Although you have a choice to change your attitude or consciously assimilate a behaviour and internalize to deal with the problem. Effectively stated by Epictetus on Walking the Walk:

Don’t declare yourself a philosopher or talk about all your principles; walk the walk instead. 

At dinner, don’t discourse on the proper way to eat. Just eat.

Here’s how Socrates did it: When someone asked Socrates to introduce him to a particular famous philosopher, he did it without thinking “I’m better.”

When the ignorant discuss deep matters, bite your tongue. Don’t vomit what
you haven’t chewed.

When you are told you’re ignorant and you manage to be unruffled, you know your practice is working.

Interest, Empathy & Resilience- Winning Skills for an Effective Communication

Good communication is not to impress but to discover possibilities, to gain advocates, to improve life for others, to resolve issues, to be heard and most importantly to be understood. Whether the communication is through mass media, face-to-face verbal or non-verbal, the challenge is how to breathe friendly, skilled, knowledge-based and mindful basics into your dialogue.
There are many factors that influence the outcome of our communication still our attitude will determine the course of the interaction. The dynamic approach to cultivate sentiments of compassion, curiosity and remain flexible will support our content and intention. With this view in mind, the pitfalls of communicating across cultures, businesses or interpersonal relations can be avoided by tweaking our style of communication based on the following tips:

Be interested

From your non-verbal cues such as eye contact, posture, or position of your arms to keep track of the conversation, the critical element is to be attentive. By asking relevant questions, replacing unnecessary conversation fillers like “um”, “er”,… with pause to think and respond are the effective way to engage your listeners and show your interest. Make sure to avoid personal judgements and allow people to finish their sentences.

Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace - Getty Image
Dale Carnegie meeting Spencer Trace – Getty Image

Have Empathy

Empathy is not about agreement, is the ability to pass through emotions, threats and  complexities with confidence and awareness. Nurturing our mirror neurons by observing and being mindful of people’s emotional experiences, builds trust and effectively improves your dialogue.

Barack Obama’s speech in 2013 to the People of Northern Ireland, embodies hope and empathy to sustain union:

“Ultimately, peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation. And I know, because America, we, too, have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully, in fits and starts, to keep perfecting our union.”

The first step is to listen empathetically. This means listening with the intention to understand. By doing so, the receiver establishes a positive climate for the speaker to open up. Repeat what has been said with the same words and summarize in you own way to make the speaker aware that you have understood what is the issue or the story. It is a great moment when we stop judging, probing or interpreting someone else’s experiences and motives.

Barack Obama Visit to Ireland - White House Image
Barack Obama Visit to Ireland – White House Image

Be Resilient

A resilient communication process is an approach to evaluate a situation or crisis by breathing normality to the interaction, validating the negative feelings and focusing on positive course of action. Clearly, spearheading constant optimism is ineffective without use of alternative logic. Broadly speaking, resilience in crisis management is when optimism and a narrative to make sense of the situation serve as the roadmap to develop and maintain a good communication. Importantly, resilience develops when the focus is on the communication process rather than examining individuals or entities to refrain from the unnecessary and unwarranted assumptions.

Winston Churchill’s war speeches are great examples of acknowledging the reality and drawing a vivid picture with hope. Here is an excerpt of his speech “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” May 1940 at the House of Commons.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. 

Resilience depends on confidence and optimism. People do not all react the same way or every situation is dire, still a resilient communication helps to keep things in perspective. The capacity to be realistic, maintaining a positive outlook and developing a narrative to cope with the unwanted situation is called resilience. We should all remember that resilience is an obligation not only to self but to community at large.

Winston Churchill - Image from Winston Churchill Org.
Winston Churchill – Image from Winston Churchill Org.

 

Featured Image by:  GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES – National Geography