Building personal resilience

Research has shown that when small court judges do not take a break during the day, they will tend to make harsher judgements and more poor decisions as the day progresses. The research went on to show that when they take a break for lunch, they give judgements which are more fair and meet the crime.

It’s a good example of how important it is to take a break during the working day.

But wait, there’s more.

At the beginning of the week we all feel more energetic and motivated to make things happen. We hurtle towards Friday to wrap things up, in order that we can switch off at the weekend. Except it’s a bit more complicated than this.

We fill our days with lots of activity, in the false belief that activity means productive. Meetings to make things happen, reports to track progress, reading books, writing blog posts, responding to the plethora of emails coming your way, taking time to talk with other people when they ask for it, going to the gym, meeting friends for drinks, spending time with family, eating at the right times – all and more in the hope that we live life.

Yet I question this level of activity. I question it because I want to know if it helps you with your resilience.

Does it help with your capacity to deal with the hardships and challenges that come during the day / week?

When you face or are hit with something that makes you exercise your mind, uses your energy, takes your focus, are you at your best?

We are self aware enough human beings that we know what happens to us when something unexpected comes our way and challenges us.

What we aren’t so good at doing is developing the skills to manage ourselves better in those challenging times so that we can be our best.

A while I go I wrote a post about things you can do to help you build your resilience, and also how we need to be focused on helping people at work live with dignity.

But what about that moment? That moment when you’re being challenged to your tolerance and want to tell the other person where they can go?

That’s where I believe we need to do more work with the people we work with. Right now, in our teams, that’s where they can be their best.

How do you invite a response from the person you’re speaking with? What have you understood about their frustration? Are you mindful of your own feelings and thoughts? Do you see how you’re being manipulated by your own emotions? Can you help the person be the best they want to be? Are you giving of your best?

It’s hard to learn this, and it’s hard to develop it. So much plays a part in what we do with all this.

I’m partial to the topic of resilience as I believe it’s a core part of human development. If we can help each other be more resilient, we create better lives for ourselves and for society. How we bring that into the workplace is something which sits at the heart of L&OD.


Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

One thought on “Building personal resilience”

  1. You mention that its hard to learn and develop it, perhaps it is. I think if we can just learn to notice it, then the answer may well come!

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