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2nd installment of a 2-part series on resilience

Read Part 1!

We are living in emotional and uncertain times, to say the least. Earlier this month we discussed the importance of building resilience, and the steps organizations and individuals can take to feel less stressed, more engaged, and more productive. To recap, the steps are:

  1. Understand that not all stress is bad
  2. Focus personal & organizational resources on increasing resilience
  3. Get clear on your vision & help employees to do the same

We also outlined the 6 core pillars of resilience — Vision, Composure, Tenacity, Reasoning, Health, and Collaboration. And we discussed how building a strong and clear vision for both you as an individual, and your organization at large, is the best first step in building resilience in our current world. Today, we’ll dive deeper into Composure and Collaboration.

Composure Gives us Power

When was the last time you felt grounded? Content? At ease? It’s reasonable to assume that in whatever situation comes to mind, you were composed. Composure is simply your ability to regulate your emotional state so you feel calm and in control. We know that folks who have an internal locus of control are more resilient than those who do not. Locus of control is “the degree to which people believe that they, as opposed to external forces, have control over the outcome of events in their lives.” I call this “cause vs. effect.”

Are things happening to you? Or for you? Do you feel empowered and in control of your own destiny? Or do you believe you are a victim of circumstance? The greater your internal sense of control – the more likely you are to take action in the face of adversity. This is a key mindset and behavior of a resilient person.

You might be asking… “Why is this important to my organization?”

Think about it…

If your employees have a greater sense of empowerment, they are more likely to believe in their ability to steer their own ship and take action. This allows the organization to progress towards its goals during difficult and challenging times.

3 Ways to Gain Composure:

To increase composure and your internal locus of control, try these simple steps:

  1. Breathe — deeply & often. When we are stressed, our breath tends to be choppy and shallow. This limits the supply of oxygen to our body and red blood cells, which is a crucial factor in our ability to think critically and make sound decisions.
  2. Name & reframe your emotions — emotions are not inherently good or bad. They are simply information. (Although, many of us would prefer to limit how often we feel overwhelmed or anxious!) Labeling how we’re feeling and where we’re feeling it in our physical body is a proven way to dissolve stress and anxiety. What we resist, persists. This exercise also allows us to reframe one emotion, and see it as another, more productive emotion. Reframing simply means looking at the emotion and the overall situation from a different perspective or through a different lens. By owning our emotions, we stay in the driver’s seat.
  3. Mindfulness — this is simply paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions with acceptance and without judgment. Mindful employees are more present, more productive, and more likely to make smarter business decisions. They are less likely to react to their external circumstances, and instead are able to respond in a calm and rational manner. When working in teams, it is especially important to practice mindfulness, as it allows us to make space for the different backgrounds, perspectives, and unique challenges of the people we work with.

Collaboration is Connection

Breathing deeply, naming and reframing our emotions, and being mindful of our thoughts are all tools that can help promote collaboration and connection with our team members. They allow us to better communicate with our colleagues and build stronger relationships. Collaboration is not only important for business outcomes and meeting key objectives and goals — it is also crucial in developing resilience and staying strong in the face of uncertainty.

As humans, we are neurobiologically hardwired for connection. When we feel disconnected, our brains interpret that experience as a threat — in the very same way it processes physical pain or danger. Feelings of disconnection can decrease immune function and our ability to fight off infection and illness.

On the other hand, when we feel authentically connected to the people we work with, our brains and bodies feel safe. Oxytocin (the “love” hormone) is released in moments when we feel connected (i.e. seen, heard, understood and accepted by others). In turn, our immune system works better, our health increases, and we are better able to adapt to stressful experiences. This allows us to recover, learn and grow faster.


A company culture that centers mindfulness, composure, trust-building and connection will be a stronger, more resilient organization. I challenge you to incorporate one new mindful practice into each day and share it with one of your colleagues. Hold one another accountable to continue the practice daily, and reflect openly with your team about the growth you experience as a result.

Want to learn more about building personal & organizational resilience? 

Book a discovery call with me here to learn more and get into action!

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