Resilience – Is it about being a swan on a lake?

One of the key facets employers seek in potential new employees is resilience. Indeed, resilience is right up there with the key soft skills that make an individual employable. Stuff happens, things go wrong. What matters is how people deal with the stuff that goes wrong, and see a project through.

Whatever your views on Brexit, be you a ‘Brexiteer’, a ‘Remainer’ or a ‘Bob (bored of Brexit)’, I feel that most people would agree that the level of resilience demonstrated by UK Prime Minister Teresa May over the past months has been extraordinary. Personally, I thought she was done for after the last General Election. The result had left her parliamentary position weaker, rather than stronger as she had hoped when she called the election. She looked shocked. So many times since then we have seen her publicly criticised, failing and even humiliated. Yet, she bounces back to do the job.

In the language of Resilience research, this is called Engineering resilience. The capacity to bounce back when things go wrong, irrespective of how badly things seem. No doubt it is a life skill, which Mrs May appears to have in admirable quantities.

So, to each of us as we do our jobs. A key professional skill is to “turn up, show up…” and get on with it. If you are in the theatre then potentially you can emerge with success. To steal another cliché, “win or learn”. Even if things don’t work out, failure will have provided us with some learning, that hopefully we will be able to use to our advantage at some future point. That use might even be in the next iteration of the same project.

If you drop off, well then you will not save that project and you will have demonstrated a lack of ‘bounce-back-ability’, that others will have noted.

On the other hand, there is the question of responding to feedback. Demonstrating the capacity to learn from experience, is one of the key elements of emotional intelligence. Not really something our Prime Minister is demonstrating of late.

However, the challenge for all of us in our lives is to find that balance between doggedly sticking to the task and learning from experience.

Share this page:

Share this page:

Martin Coffey

About Martin Coffey

Career Management Skills Developer, Researcher Development Team.

View more posts by Martin Coffey

Subscribe to Martin Coffey's posts

Leave a Reply

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer