Resilience is an emotional intelligence in contrast to our intellectual intelligence. It is how we manage our emotional world to deal with the uncertainties and difficulties in life. People with higher levels of resilience can deal with work better, are more likely to succeed and will be able to harness the skills and attributes they have.
We all have different levels of resilience and at different times will feel more or less resilient. A good analogy is the one of a glass. We get up in the morning and the dishwasher has leaked all over the floor; we can add a good measure to our glass. We miss our train, there is not one for 20 minutes as there are delays; we can add another measure to our glass. Someone pushes into us on the train and is rude when we mention it; add another. We get to work and our boss asks us to help out with something that we do not usually do, the glass may spill over.
As resilience is an emotional intelligence it makes sense that our capacity for it is dependent on our emotional well-being. For example if we are tired, stressed and over worked we will have much less ability to be resilient. It makes it even more important that we take actions to ensure our emotional welfare and health as it helps us access the skills needed to be resilient.
As Dean Becker, the president and CEO of Adaptiv Learning Systems, a four-year-old company in Pennsylvania, that develops and delivers programs about resilience training, puts it: "More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person's level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That's true in the cancer ward, it's true in the Olympics, and it's true in the boardroom." (Quoted in Diana Coutu's article in the Harvard Business Review, How resilience works).
One of the key attributes of successful people and entrepreneurs is that of resilience, that they keep going, overcome obstacles and when there are set backs they learn and carry on. Intelligence in itself is not enough and in some respects there is less that you can do to influence this.
In our day and age, business is becoming more complicated and competitive. It is not enough to be intelligent, employees need to be good at learning fast, overcoming obstacles and changing rapidly. This demands higher levels of resilience.
We are also now more aware that emotional states such as anxiety, stress, anger, irritation, frustration, boredom and resentment can decrease productivity. Without being able to understand and so better manage these emotions, they can impact significantly on our relationships, well-being and performance.
Resilience can help us deal with the many highs and lows of our working life, increase our emotional intelligence and our chances of being successful and more fullfilled in our careers.
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