“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
― Nelson Mandela
Emotional Resilience is the ability to pick yourself up, no matter how many times life and its events push you down. Psychologists call the ability to walk through bad experiences ‘resilience’. “It generally means adapting well in the face of chronic or acute adversity,” says neuroscientist Dr Golnaz Tabibnia, who studies the neurological basis of emotional resilience at the University of California, Irvine.
Emotional Resilience in today’s times is a much-needed commodity. The fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that a number of people are faced with adversity, including illness, bereavement, job loss, isolation and more, together with a constant sense of uncertainty.
It is important to adapt and learn to be emotionally resilient in life and the workplace, especially in times of stress, to deal with any untoward events that happen.
Emotional Resilience at Work
So what are the emotional resilient qualities that will help you climb over adversity?
At work, it is difficult to be 100 percent perfect and productive all the time.
The pandemic has thrown up new ways of working—the virtual environment where messages sometimes get diluted or are not properly understood and communication from far becomes difficult.
There are times when you will falter, will be pulled up and even held responsible for events out of your control. It is in such times that your spirit of emotional resilience will stand you up in good stead.
Emotional Resilience at work is not just about critical outcomes or failures, but it is required even when you are chosen for higher responsibilities, or you choose to make a shift laterally.
A positive mindset or in one-word ‘Optimism’. Adversity by such people is treated as a learning experience.
Emotional Resilience requires a giving nature. More emotionally resilient people are helpful in nature and are ready to share your burden too.
Practicing Emotional Resilience
Ethics and morals. People with a strong moral compass and a high awareness of the rights and wrongs of a situation are better able to cope with work problems and life hurdles both.
Even if one loses the battle, there is hope for another war to be won and satisfaction that one tried one’s best.
This is what keeps emotionally resilient people going forward.
Humor. Having a sense of humor always helps in difficult life situations. An emotionally resilient worker is able to laugh off adversity. It does not mean one treats criticism as a joke, but the ability to take it in the right spirit is important.
A strong support system. Emotionally Resilient people generally have strong family support, a mentor, or a life coach who is their sounding board.
Most importantly emotional resilience at work pans out due to the ability to embrace one’s inadequacy and overcome it. If you do not fear anything, then the need to overcome that is not there. Fear of the ability to handle a task leads one to learn the skill and strive better.
Emotional Resilience is an innate trait, but there are ways one can improve by indulging in some intentional training.
Organizations should understand the contributors of emotional resilience and start introducing programs which build resilience:
The pandemic has taught an important lesson in emotional resilience for the leaders of business— adaptability.
It is critical for managers and leaders to learn to navigate change
Upgrading and innovating is important to stay ahead in the game. Managers need to zero in on employees with a high degree of commitment and motivation for skill upgradation. They have a deeper learning curve when put in new situations and roles, which can impact their emotional resilience and ability to perform.
Interpersonal relationships at workplace are a veritable minefield, Any strained relationship can upset the whole team dynamics. It is here that the emotional resilient at workplace characteristics of the members play a part.
A savvy manager can encourage people with a lack of emotional resilience to take another look at their way of thinking and change their interpretation of events. He/she can encourage people to not give up easily, try to look at things from the other person’s point of view, be empathetic, and not take offense at the slightest things. In short, encourage the development of the traits of emotional resilience that we discussed above.
Managers who understand the dynamics of emotional resilience can mentor and suggest ways to approach a work-related situation differently.
Employees wanting to grow in the environment will benefit from learning to cope with adversity and developing a spirit of emotional resilience in the workplace. Negative feedbacks and conflicts are all a part of developing emotional workplace resilience and consistency.
If organizations encourage such mentoring and recognize that a never-say-die spirit is needed for an emotionally resilient workforce, then it can become a part of the work ethos.