I have written a few postings on resilience and building resilience as i see it as a key characteristic to successful middle managers.
The ability to cope with stress in your life as a middle manager is essential. This stress can come from those who work for you, work with you and for whom you work, plus stress from outside the organisation.
Yes Managers in the middle are potentially the most stressed people in business.
Thinking about coping with stress, I have found the following diagram useful, as it charts the process of building resilience
When stress appears in your life, our response is based around our attitudes to how we perceive this stress.
For some, a criticism from the Boss is a spur to greater work, for others its a death-sentence. And unless you have an uncommonly high eQ Boss, their strategy isn’t to focus on thinking about the best to treat us. This results in stress in most managers lives. Thus, being prepared is the key to coping with, and mitigating, stress in our business life.
One summary from my reading around resilience is that resilient people don’t give in to anger or despair when faced with a setback. Instead, they tap into a greater purpose within themselves to bounce back stronger than ever.
Highly resilient people know how to accept inevitable failures and tragedies and not have them break their spirits.
Here are seven habits of people (and links to their writings) who know how to confront stress and move on with their lives stronger than before:
Resilient people make a habit of being persistent. “Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence,” says Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich,” one of the top-selling business books of all time.
Resilient people believe that they are fully capable of carrying out their purpose, says Hill, which allows them to rebound from setbacks.
Just because successful people are self-confident and can potentially rely on themselves doesn’t mean that they isolate themselves from others. Studies show that having intimate relationships with friends and family provides the benefits of belonging, increased self-worth, and security that reduces stress levels, especially in times of crisis.
Resilient people understand that frustrating situations, failures, and tragedies are inevitable parts of life, and they’re able to move on because they don’t ignore or repress their pain. “Acceptance is not about giving up and letting the stress take over, it’s about leaning in to experience the full range of emotions and trusting that we will bounce back,” Brad Waters writes in Psychology Today.
Those who move forward do not dwell in a state of victim-hood or self-hatred their outlook is permanently optimistic and they see the positive opportunity in every situation. “What the resilient do is refrain from blaming themselves for what has gone wrong,” says Hara Estroff Marano of Psychology Today. “In the language of psychology, they externalize blame. And they internalize success; they take responsibility for what goes right in their lives.”
In “The Obstacle Is the Way,” Ryan Holiday points to several historical examples of people who practice the ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism by re-framing adversity as an opportunity for triumph. He cites Nassim Taleb, who defines a Stoic as someone who “transforms fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into initiation, and desire into undertaking.”
Psychologist Karen Horneffer-Ginter focuses on the physical characteristics of resilient people, who know how to keep stress from accumulating and then crippling them. She says exercise and meditation can be great ways to clear the mind of anxiety. “Unplugging and stepping off the treadmill can offer just the reset we need to re-find our center,” she says. So find a way to exercise to burn that stress away.
I don’t think I can write any more about resilience, and I hope this this focus on becoming more resilient in the past few months has been useful.