What is resilience? Based on a great deal of research and observation of people going through change, we have identified a set of characteristics that help people use their adaptation energy more effectively. Think of these characteristics as “change muscles.” We believe that everyone has the ability to apply and develop each one. Just as certain physical muscles are stronger in some people than others, people differ in the strength of their resilience muscles. And, just as regular exercise will strengthen physical muscles, so resilience muscles can be strengthened through practice. When a change muscle is weak, it can certainly still be used, but the person must apply more effort to get the same result as a person who has developed greater strength in that area.
Our work focuses on seven resilience characteristics:
Positivity Resilient individuals effectively identify opportunities in turbulent environments. This muscle helps you interpret situations in a way that offers hope and possibility, and is part of your resilience “core.” It is an important foundation for the other muscles.
Confidence Resilient individuals have the personal confidence to believe they can succeed in the face of uncertainty. This helps you recognize the value you can bring to a challenging situation.
Priorities Resilient individuals have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and use this as a guide when they become disoriented. This helps you identify the most important things to pay attention to as you face challenges.
Creativity Resilient individuals generate a wide range of ideas and approaches for responding to new situations. This helps you envision possibilities and options for dealing with challenges.
Connection Resilient individuals build relationships that enable them to call on others for assistance and support. This muscle enables you draw on others’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy to help you deal with the challenges you face.
Structure Resilient individuals effectively develop and apply systems, processes, and structures. This helps you plan, coordinate, and use your energy efficiently in facing challenge.
Experimenting Resilient individuals initiate action in the face of uncertainty, taking calculated risks rather than seeking the comfort of the status quo. This helps you get out of your comfort zone and try new ways of operating when facing challenges.