In the first post of this two-post series, we broke down what resilience means and common traits of resilient people. Now let’s dig deeper into what you can do to build your resilience. Key to building resilience is self-awareness, the conscious knowledge of one’s character, feelings, motives, and desires. It’s an essential tool as it allows leaders to see themselves clearly and thoroughly. Without self-awareness, it may be impossible to realize the need to take a specific action. Understanding your baseline is essential, which can start with a self-assessment.
One of the easiest ways to build self-awareness is through the use of a personality instrument. One tool we use at Capacity Group is the Hogan Assessment, which looks at personality through the lens of values and motives, personality elements for leading, and strengths that become over-used when under stress. The three assessments used together are valuable tools and a part of our work in developing teams and leaders along with talent selection. Most recently, we are using insights from the Hogan to help leaders understand how their personality points to resilience and how to raise resilience.
Research points to certain individual personality traits, which play a valuable role in predicting one’s resilience level and using the Hogan we help leaders understand how they are disposed to elements of resilience. In particular, we look at adjustment, ambition, and prudence. The Adjustment scale is an indicator of an individual’s confidence, self-esteem, and composure under pressure, which is a way of handling stress and its impact. Resilience builds off the ability to be calm and maintain a level of self-assurance that is necessary when faced with a challenge or adversity. Ambition is defined as a predictor of drive, energy, initiative, and competitiveness. Maintaining the level of ambition necessary to stay the course and set new goals even when things get arduous is an essential indicator of your resilience level. Finally, a third element is Prudence, the ability to maintain steadiness and responsibility that may help an individual keep on track to complete desired projects. Resilient people persist. Prudence is a component of the tenacity in setting goals, tracking completion of projects, etc. As you think about your own levels of adjustment and ambition, where do you have strength? Where could you improve your resilience here through adjustment, ambition, and prudence? Insights from the assessment is used to develop customized goals to further explore and build resilience levels.
To Actively Build Resilience
Once you have assessed the natural strengths you already possess and look at the areas for opportunities related to resilience, there are many steps that individuals, leaders, and teams may take to help develop and build resilience over time. Here are a few to get you started:
- Increase self-awareness. Seek to understand your strengths and weaknesses and how you typically respond to stress. (this is your baseline!)
- Build self-regulation skills. Recognize stress triggers and then use stress-reduction techniques to regulate emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Adopt mindfulness practices such as breathing and pausing.
- Learn and use multiple coping skills unique to you – including incorporating healthy habits. Take deliberate action to maintain or enhance self-care, including diet, exercise, sleep, journaling, socializing, and spending time outdoors. Look to reframe failure to a learning opportunity for growth.
- Increase your optimism. Focus on what you can do versus what you cannot. Identify positive problem-solving steps you can take.
- Strengthen your personal and professional connections. Support systems can play a vital role in resilience. Reach out to your network or look to cultivate new relationships.
- Know and actualize your strengths. Make a list of your strengths, and then tap into them. Focus your efforts on areas where you may make an impact, which may lead to empowerment and confidence.
To Wrap It All Up
Resilience is a desirable trait in individuals, leaders, and teams especially as we tackle new challenges like WFH. To expand your self-awareness, lead with more intent, and build your resilience, it may be beneficial to work with a consultant trained in a tool such as the Hogan Assessment. We use the Hogan to help clients identify and develop talented leaders, boost employee engagement, and drive business results and productivity. To find out how Capacity Group can help your organization, please contact us.