The Three R’s – Resilience

Feb 20 2015

The first ‘R’ is for ‘RESILIENCE’.

I’ve sat down with many an exec with a worried look on their face. Something hasn’t gone to plan, or even worse – they’ve made a mistake! Their resilience is being tested.

Once we have analysed the current situation, I am keen to let them know that they will be measured, not by the mess-ups made, but how they respond to them! We all have times when things, for whatever reason, go wrong. Yet, how we internalize our thinking about these situations and attribute blame or responsibility, will have an effect on what we do next. Be aware that our experience of the situation is also subjective.

We need to look at resilience as a type of flexibility; can we take the knocks and bounce back?

Is it possible to take a step away and obtain an objective view?

Can we remain calm and apply logical thought and analysis to the situation?

Can we remain positive and maintain momentum?

Do we have the emotional energy and awareness to be aware of our cognitive and logical thoughts as well as our emotional felt responses?

Can we go forward with humility and sensitivity and dig deep to overcome the challenges?

I offer a four-stage process to help execs “get a grip”:

  1. What are my initial thoughts about this situation? Am I making ‘thinking’ errors? (e.g. jumping to conclusions, magnifying a situation, applying all or nothing thinking etc.)
  2. What are the facts? Is there evidence to support my thinking? Is there any evidence against my thinking?
  3. What alternatives are there to my thinking and approach?
  4. What choices do I have? What action am I going to take?


To coin the phrase – “Keep Calm and Carry On”!

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    MD of Utilities Company
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    HR Director IT Company
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    Director at Open University
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    MD Financial Services
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    Director Open University
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    ICRH Group Leader, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
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