A New View of Resilience

Every thing I read about resilience tells me how its most important quality is the ability to bounce back from tough stuff. That is definitely the traditional definition of the term but in my book, The Resilience Advantage and for other resilience thought leaders the idea of resilience is now expanding to focus on how we prepare for these challenges, navigate them in real time, and use those experiences for new learnings or how we “bounce forward.” As you begin to think about your goals for 2016 consider that you can deal with your life in a more graceful and easy manner. Imagine how your 2016 could be if you found yourself, your workplace, and your home less pressure filled Read More

Holiday Cheer

We’ll be travelling this holiday season visiting family in the Motor City. Our bags will be packed with gifts and our hearts will be full of love as we celebrate our time together. While I am excited to connect with family and share greetings of the season, I am also aware of my wanting to take some time to decompress from my daily routine and use these 2 weeks for some fun, recreation and rejuvenation. Maybe that will translate to sleeping in a bit, trying out a few more sweet desserts, listening to my wife’s sisters share stories of their childhood shenanigans and seeing Star Wars. The Force Awakens…IMAX version. I hope that your holiday is filled with love, joy, Read More

Bouncing Forward

People usually laugh when I suggest that stress can be good for you. “Oh yeah, tell me more…Not” Stress has gotten such a bad name and we feel so powerless over it that all we want to do is avoid it. This is what creates our victimization mentality to stress situations. Research completed by Anthony Mancini and his colleagues indicated that even people subjected to even significant traumatic events might thrive given the right support. Their recently released research study done following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 surveyed 358 female students at Virginia Tech who took assessments for depression and anxiety before and then after the shootings. While the vast majority of respondents (60%) were resilient and returned to Read More

The Great Differentiator

With my book, The Resilience Advantage due to be released in early 2016, I wanted to begin sharing with you some of the ideas that I’ll be discussing in the book. Of course, as you know from these posts, my resilience work has focused on creating a new paradigm for how we view the stress in our lives. The “stress management” model, which is how we’ve been taught to address stress is inherently flawed since, as a biological imperative there is no way to manage it. The stress reaction is physiologically built into us so it is impossible to manage it. It’s like trying to say that we can manage gravity which is a physical imperative. Instead our true biological Read More

Follow-up Your Holiday Gratitude

In a 2011 New York Times article, author John Tierney called Thanksgiving the most psychologically correct holiday. Not politically correct, but psychologically correct. His rationale is clearly related to gratitude. Gratitude is a pillar of personal resilience in that it helps us appreciate all we have to be grateful for in our lives. No doubt, last Thursday we all went around the Thanksgiving dinner table speaking about what it was we are grateful for in our lives. Hopefully nobody was thinking, “Thank God I don’t have to do that for another year!” Building a gratitude practice is an excellent way to sustain a perspective about what is important in our lives. In my new book, The Resilience Advantage coming out Read More

La résilience

Resilience will be a buzzword over the next several weeks as we watch the citizens of Paris recover from the horrific events of last Friday. Already we hear of their courage as they venture out back into the streets honoring the victims with flowers, tears, and moments of silence. Soon this will be replaced with children playing, tourists sightseeing and lovers hugging. La résilience is inevitable. The healing begins immediately with a call to arms—our fight response—justifiably derived from our wanting to seek vengeance against those that hurt us. This is our biological response to what happened. While governments try to determine what action must be taken to address these terrorist acts, each of us does whatever helps us to Read More

Turn that Conflict Around

Last week’s column on criticism struck a nerve with lots of folks and several asked me to discuss conflict in the workplace. If we think about what is a major cause of stress at work, dealing with conflict has to be near the top of the list. Thinking resilience in the face of conflict will help resolve the matter efficaciously and help keep your stress level down. Conflict is more than unavoidable; it’s desirable. Leading team building researchers say that teams go through different stages and one of them is called “storming” where team members must address differences of opinions and find common ground so they can grow into effective team members. Furthermore conflict provides the opportunity to confront toxic Read More

Conquer Criticism

Odds are you are going to get criticized this week. It may be your partner, a colleague, or your workout coach. There is almost certainly something that you will do wrong, someone will notice and want to make sure you know you screwed up and then to add insult to injury, they will want to point out how to do it better next time. Afterwards, you’ll feel bad about yourself for messing up and then feel worse for taking in all that criticism. I call that the double dump. One way to build resilience from that situation is to develop a bit of a thicker skin to criticism. It’s not written anywhere that you have to accept criticism and making Read More

Time on Your Side

I like to mention at my resilience workshops that when it comes to time, we don’t manage it but it manages us. After all, there are only 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds in a day. No more, no less. How you spend that time is how you define your priorities. The Rolling Stones in one of their earliest classic songs Time is On My Side, are not singing about time management but we’ll get our interpretation this weekend when we get a bit of time on our side as we transition back to Daylight Standard Time. While this adjustment is easier on our bodies than losing that hour in the spring (in the spring there are more heart attacks, car Read More

Overhauling Overload: Part Deux

We received some great feedback from readers last week about addressing personal workload management and in a meeting with one of my clients this week, he told me that while the personal strategies were working, he was more excited about his success in addressing this issue of work overload as a team. He reminded me that just a year ago his team members were working 6 days a week on several of their projects and just recently several of his direct reports told him that they had capacity to take on new projects. His strategies included: Shining a light on the workload issue. Everyone is afraid to bring up the topic except in a few dark corners of the office. Read More