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Build Resilience: Adapt to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threat or high levels of stress

Building resilience is one of the skills identified by research organizations as a top requirement for leaders in the next few years.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio:

Building resilience is one of the skills identified by research organizations as a top requirement for leaders in the next few years.

There is a lot of uncertainty around job stability and security just now. I hear about layoffs being discussed far too often by managers or the team members themselves. Resilience has become a requirement, not just for leaders but for every professional person.

What is resilience? Resilience is the ability to adapt to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threat, or high-stress levels.

When does one face these kinds of situations in one’s career? Here are a few examples:

  • Loss of a job

  • Loss of a major prospect (for a sales executive or CEO)

  • Not achieving the promotion that you wanted

  • Not getting through interviews

  • Marketing campaigns not yielding the desired results

  • Lack of good rapport with your boss

The first step in building resilience is identifying why these incidents occurred in the first place, i.e., their root cause. Being in a state of denial is the least helpful. The initial tendency for most people is to blame others for the incidents and direct their anger at others. What might be really helpful is some introspection and analysis of what went wrong. Directing the blame at external factors (when it is not justified) hinders personal learning and growth.

However, it is important to be cautious not to spend too much time analyzing what happened, as this thought process can quickly morph into a vicious cycle that can be very tricky to get out of. If that ever happens, you should get support from someone who can quickly help you find the correct answers. A certified coach can help you with this. A coach can help you figure out the root causes for what went wrong and help you move forward, typically within a 60-90 minutes session. So, if you have got into the habit of obsessively pondering and analyzing why things go wrong for you and still haven’t got an answer, seek the help of a competent coach.

For you to move forward, it is important to do some introspection to learn more about yourself. To turn around the situation, you need to understand who you are and what you want (purpose). That is the second step. Again a competent and certified coach can help you in this process.

The third step is to create an exploratory mindset.

New opportunities may not present themselves often and easily. And it is essential to remember that what worked for you previously may not necessarily work for you in the current situation or future. This is where the exploratory mindset may help open doors for you.

  • Are there avenues that you have not explored?

  • What are others doing in similar situations?

  • Is it possible to talk with a few others about what worked for them?

  • Can you develop a stronger social network that can support you, refer you, vouch for you, and/or give you testimonials?

Fourth step: Take massive action

The fourth step is to take massive action, which in simple terms, means that you commit to taking action until you achieve the desired results.

Often, people do not know what actions to take because they have not done the above first 3 steps.

Unless you have clarity on what needs to be done, you remain stuck in the situation. So ensure the first 3 steps are done, then plan your action and, most importantly, execute your action plan. Once you get to this stage, going back to step 1 can undo your progress.

It is important that you nurture yourself and take care of your well-being while you do all the above steps. This would ensure you have the positive mindset and energy to move forward.

Are you stuck in a situation which is not letting you go beyond Step 1? Please reach out to me and I will have a discussion with you.

If you have a story to share on how you successfully dealt with such situations in the past, please let me know that too.

Author: Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation certified Leadership and Life Coach. He focuses on working with Introvert Professionals, helping them grow as leaders by unleashing their potential.

He helps introverts celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching experience to help create more leaders among the Introverts.

Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience and done his BE and Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.

His company, Johncey George Consulting Pvt Ltd, does Leadership Development through Coaching, under the brand Coach Johncey (


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