Gary's Newsletter 375: Resilience CoachingPosted by Gary R Collins on March 17, 2010 Comments 4
Crises and disappointments are inevitable during times of rapid change. Careers, businesses, ministries and relationships can sink, especially if we let bitterness, discouragement, or fear pull us down when hardships strike. Deeply ingrained beliefs and habits can sap our energy and keep us from acting constructively, according to a Harvard Business Review article on adversity (January-February, 2010). Often we fall into a dark cloud of deflation or a victimization mindset that leaves us feeling hopeless, helpless or wronged.
Whatever the initial reaction, we need to counter adversity with resilience: the capacity to respond quickly and constructively when crises arise. This involves controlling ourselves but often includes what the HBR authors term "coaching resilience." Pep-talks rarely work long-term and neither do ongoing expressions of empathy and reassurance. Instead, effective resilience building and coaching includes the following:
- At least initially, avoid analyzing what went wrong, who is to blame, or whether the crisis could have been prevented. Resilient people, including managers and coaches, move quickly from analysis to a plan of action.
- Adopt a collaborative approach, working with others to develop an inquisitive, interactive environment that stimulates options and possibilities.
- Ask what specific steps can be taken to have an immediate and maximally positive impact on the situation. Let the answers emerge from the discussion instead of giving directions.
- Focus on what you can control and on how the breath and duration of the crisis might be contained.
- Determine what people, strengths, and resources are available or quickly attainable to help.
- Visualize what the situation might look like on the other side of the crisis.
- Ponder what the leader you most admire would do in this situation.
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