The Energizer

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How to Build Workplace Resiliency in Changing Times—Part Two

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, July 30, 2018
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Resilient people are best able to deal with the demands placed on them, to “roll with the punches” and to cope under pressure. We all know the paradox of “too much to do and too little time”. When coupled with constant changes, looming deadlines, masses of email, and juggling a life outside of work, resiliency might seem like a “when-you-wish-upon-a-star” phenomenon.

Believe it or not, the little grasshopper Jiminy Cricket from Disney ‘s Pinocchio, was actually on target with a resiliency strategy: voicing positive expectations.

Negative self-talk and mental creations of doom and gloom are self-fulfilling prophesies. Perhaps you have known individuals who seem to always be under a dark cloud. No words of hope, cheer, or good news ever leap from their lips. Ever. We have a friend who falls into that description. We literally have to force him to answer the question, “Tell us good news”. Trust me, there is good news but he can’t see it until we push and prod.

  1. Here are five strategies to help you build resiliency. Notice I did not say “become resilient”. That makes it an end state. Resiliency is like a muscle. You build it over time. You keep using it. You try different things. And you do not stop using that muscle because atrophy sets in.
  2. Practice intelligent optimism. Intelligent optimism is not sappy, cockeyed soft wishes. Rather, you look at a situation or an event and ask yourself these questions. “What is the good that can come from this? “What might I learn from this that can help me later?” “Who has been in this place before and done well, survived, and thrived? “
  3. Develop strong social networks at work and at home. Positive relationships are like pillars in a foundation—offering support when needed.
  4. Celebrate wins—both large AND small. Don’t dwell on what didn’t go well. Instead, give yourself credit for what you did do. In fact, celebrate the wins of others. This builds a resilient culture.
    Take care of yourself. Now more than ever, research is showing that sleep is critical for mental functioning. And not just 5 hours but more like 7 and 8. Don’t look at email, text messages or news shows before going to sleep. Carve out a quiet pre-sleep routine. No alcohol before bed either. Do research on the best ways to create restful sleep. Self- care also includes exercise and nutrition. Make it a practice. Walking in nature is a great way to recharge.
  5. Make it a constant practice to take breaks, lunches, and vacations. And lunches are NOT at your desk. Get away. There are apps that you can set to remind you to take a break. I use Focus Keeper. Another app is Insight Timer which allows you to listen to meditations, create your own soothing sounds and more.

Remember, you can’t control the wind. But you can adjust the sails.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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