Watch Your Kid’s Technology

Today’s parents are often accused of being helicopter-ish. They are seen as hovering overhead, and protecting their young ones from any conceivable adversity. The question is being posed today, however, if all of this protectiveness is keeping our kids from learning how to face challenges and develop skills that will be important for them to possess as adults. Some tech-savvy parents are denying their kids the latest and greatest conveniences, all in the belief that by challenging their children to learn different ways to solve problems, they’ll develop more diverse skills. This can certainly be seen as a parenting resilience strategy. At the Waldorf School in Los Altos, California, the elementary school children of Silicon Valley’s technology wizards don’t use Read More

Our Negativity Bias

Biologically, we are programmed to look for the worst in situations…and it is a good thing we do. Our biology would take us back to primitive times where we would want to be on the lookout for the worst case scenario—a sabre toothed tiger over the next ridge or a tribe or warring enemies mounting an attack. Even today, we’re vigilant walking down an unfamiliar dark street and night…a good practice to keep available. In our regular lives, however, this built in bias, known as the negativity bias creates danger where it may never exist. And that creates undo stress. One of the ways to overcome the negativity bias is to acknowledge and highlight things we do well for ourselves Read More

Risk and Resilience

One of the reasons we experience stress is due to the fear that we will not be able to manage a particular event. We get a call from our boss to come up to her office and we assume the worse. We check out the traffic report in the morning and find out that our preferred road is shut down due to an accident and we ruminate about our trip to work taking 2 hours. Everything we do involves risk. Risk is traditionally defined as the probability and magnitude of a negative event occurring. We can’t control risk but we can work to be prepared for it, navigate it when it is occurring, and learn from it. Understanding the risk Read More

Hardiness

As I like to remind people, stress is inevitable; how we choose to deal with it is all up to us. Hardiness is the idea that you can build up your energy reserves so that in the face of a stressful event, you are able to handle it with more grace and can bounce back more quickly and efficiently. Working out is a great example of how we build physical hardiness. While working out for many of us is about working off stress, an additional benefit of getting stronger is that it helps insulate us against future stressors. Some other ways to build hardiness include: Create a positive mindset: When facing a challenging event, think about the best thing happening Read More

Being a Resilient Leader

I often find that managers are reticent to discuss stress in the workplace for fear that it will encourage complaining and frustration on the part of their employees. However, stress levels in today’s workplace are the elephant in the room and a resilience approach to these topics will help move the conversation from problem finding to problem solving. Five ideas for managers to build resilience in your work team: Own the reality: Acknowledge that we are in a high stress time. Tie the workload to the mission of the organization and the success of your workgroup. Recognize and reward: Give immediate praise to team members doing a great job in the difficult situation. Point out how the team has been Read More