10 Ways to Develop your Resilience Skills to Cope in a Crisis

Business Insights

For many people, the current pandemic is really testing their resolve; for some it has exacerbated existing problems, adding to their stress and anxiety levels. Therefore, developing resilience skills has become even more important, in order for people to be able to cope with the fear, uncertainty, pressure, stress and changes associated with the impact of COVID-19. In the long-term, resilience will be key for us all to get through the next few weeks, if not months.

Developing your resilience skills can help you to cope better in a crisis and deal with a key life event, such as an illness, bereavement, relationship break up, or being made redundant. Resilience involves honing a complex set of skills and behaviours, which are affected by our beliefs and personality styles and which differ greatly from one person to another.

Resilience includes being able to maintain effective work in the face of set-backs, pressure or crises, remain calm, stable and in control of ourselves in challenging situations, as well as developing a positive outlook. It is often referred to as the ability to ‘bounce-back’ quickly from set-backs. This holistic and preventative approach has been used effectively by the US military since 2009.

The stages we tend to experience after a major set-back are often a combination of: Shock, Denial, Anger, Anxiety, Fear, Confusion, Panic, Disorientation and Depression. Then we move on to: Acceptance, Hope, Problem-solving, Decision-making and a Sense of Renewal. The key is to move along this ‘Change Curve’ as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Jill Maidment of Bristol-based Consultancy, Natural Talent, is an Executive Business Coach and Mentor to a wide range of leaders in some of the best-known global companies. She has been providing Executive Coaching and Mentoring, Career and Transition Coaching and Resilience Coaching for 17 years and provides practical techniques to assist clients in developing their Resilience skills.

Here are Jill’s Top 10 Tips for Developing Resilience:

    1. In order to recover from these stages more quickly and cope better with change and major set-backs, it is important to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening, to channel your anger and disappointment about having to cancel your holidays, stay indoors or work from home. Create new goals and do something productive, such as completing online courses, volunteering or taking up a new hobby.

    2. Challenge your negative thoughts and cultivate a Positive Mental Attitude by listing all your achievements, either in or outside work, and refer to them often. And banish from your Vocabulary: ‘Can’t, Don’t, Won’t, Shouldn’t, Couldn’t, Wouldn’t.’

    3. Manage Stress and Anxiety by asking yourself open questions such as: ‘How am I feeling – both physically and mentally?’ How stressed am I on a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being completely calm? What can I do to improve and move my score nearer to 10?

    4. Manage your health, well-being and work-life balance by creating a daily routine, taking regular breaks and practising yoga or meditation exercises whilst at home.

    5. Develop your self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence to better control and manage your emotions and behaviours under pressure.

    6. Become more confident and assertive, by being clear about your own position in discussions, communicating this to others, accepting their position and learning to say ‘No’ if you are already feeling overwhelmed by work or personal issues.

    7. Work on building better relationships and managing any conflict, by handling objections and offering options and alternative solutions. Practice relaxing your shoulders, controlling your breathing, keeping a neutral expression, concentrating on the problem not the person, remaining calm and in control, and aiming for a win-win outcome.

    8. Problem-solve and make better decisions by trying to be rational and assessing and clarifying what the key objectives and desired results need to be. Collect information or data relating to an issue, list all options, courses of action and potential solutions, no matter how extreme they may first appear, and all the pros and cons, then assess the possible consequences.

    9. Plan ahead and organize events to look forward to when the lockdown ends, prioritize and manage your time by not reading emails on demand, turning your phone and laptop off at least an hour before bedtime, only attending essential virtual meetings, blocking off time to plan and prepare, and working from a prioritized ‘To do’ list:

    10. Control what you can control: Manage your attitude, behaviour, actions, reactions and choices, by breathing more slowly, taking your time, and giving yourself positive messages; that way you will improve the way you deal with key decisions, difficult people, and situations, at the same time improving your stress levels and building Resilience.

Jill offers flexible 1:1 Resilience and Wellbeing Coaching and Mentoring, 6 days a week, for 1 or 2 hours, either via video conferencing or telephone. Please contact Jill in absolute confidence to discuss any issues, find out more details, or to book a Coaching session.