3 tips to improve your emotional resilience in business

Robin Hills HRBy Robin Hills, author of ‘The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business’

People that are able to handle themselves well and remain calm in a crisis have, what psychologists call, resilience – an ability to cope with problems and setbacks. Resilient people are able to utilise their capabilities, strengths and robustness to manage and recover from problems and challenges, which may include job loss, financial problems, illness, medical emergencies, natural disasters, divorce or the death of a loved one. They are able to adapt to adversity and major change without lasting difficulties to themselves and their loved ones and, generally, do this in a calm, rational manner. Those who lack resilience may instead become overwhelmed by these experiences and have a much harder time with stress and life changes, both major and minor. They may dwell on problems and use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with such challenges.

Those capable of dealing with minor stresses more readily have been shown to manage a major crisis with greater ease – so resilience has its benefits for daily life as well as for the rare major catastrophe. Resilient people know that they are going to experience failure on occasions but they see it, not as something to dwell on, but as an opportunity to move forward and accept that failure is a part of life.

To some degree, emotional and physical resilience are inborn abili­ties. Some people, by their nature, are less upset by changes and surprises – this can be observed in infancy and tends to be stable throughout your lifetime. Emotional resilience is also related to some factors that aren’t under your control, such as age, gender and exposure to trauma. However, resilience can be developed with a little effort. If you know what to do, you can become more resilient, even if you are naturally more sensitive to life’s difficulties.

Being resilient is more than just coping. It is about learning through the experience to grow personally and become stronger to deal with adversity better as you encounter it.

People who show good resilience in a family friendly manner possess:

  • a firm, reliable acceptance of reality
  • a deep belief, supported by strongly held values, that life is meaningful
  • an ability to be creative, adaptable and to improvise.

3 tips to improve your emotional resilience in business

  1. Feel in control


  • View the world as complex and challenging… but filled with opportunity
  • Hold a positive perception about yourself
  • Defend yourself well
  • Be confident in your ability to meet any challenge with hope and realistic optimism

So, with your family in mind:

– Be realistic about what you can and can’t do

– Learn how to say ‘No’ so that you don’t commit to too much

– Set small, short-term goals that you know you can achieve

– Tell yourself you can do it and prove yourself to be right

– Communicate your intentions clearly to others, delegate and encourage their support


2. Be flexible and adaptable


  • Be sensitive to changes in your environment with a particular focus on the impact that this can have on all members of the family
  • Adapt quickly to what is happening
  • Learn from life constantly
  • Remain true to your purpose/vision while making room for others’ ideas and opportunities

So, with your family in mind:

– Anticipate change so that you can be prepared for it with a series of contingencies

– Accept that situations are going to change

– Positively move forward rather than dwelling on how unreason­able or unfair the changes may seem

– Remain focused on your personal goals and adapt how you work to accommodate the change


3. Get connected


  • Reach out to others
  • Contribute to others’ welfare by giving of yourself
  • Build bridges – discover common ground

• Be playful and creative when exploring opportunities together

• Touch others’ hearts

So, with your family in mind:

– Look at ways you can get involved and help others with their problems

– Proactively seek out the chance to engage with different people

– Look for new opportunities to build your network

– Communicate with empathy

– Be willing to seek and ask for support for yourself, your partner, your children and your parents, if necessary.  


Robin Hills is the director of Ei4Change and author of ‘The Authority Guide to Emotional Resilience in Business’. His special interest lies in emotional intelligence and linking together the outputs from assessments to give real practical relevance to improve effectiveness and productivity. http://ei4change.com/authority-guide-emotional-resilience/


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