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Building resilience amidst uncertainty is today’s topic. The past 18 months has been an emotional and uncertain time to say the least. We’ve collectively experienced unprecedented and traumatic events that are ongoing. For instance, we are still experiencing stress through challenging micro-moments and daily hassles related to the pandemic. This includes remote and/or hybrid work schedules, separating personal and professional responsibilities, school openings and closings, new CDC recommendations, are challenges we’re all still facing.

And stress plays a big part in whether or not we’re coping well. Because stress and anxiety levels are at an all-time high, organizations need to do a better job at this. And they need to do it fast because companies are paying an estimated $800 billion annually on mental health issues. 

The Pillars of Resilience

Resilience is broken down into 6 core pillars. These pillars provide a roadmap of tangible actionable steps to start building more resilient people, cultures, and workplaces.

1. Vision (A person’s sense of purpose and meaning including clearly defined core values & goals that are congruent with one another.)

2. Health (A person’s sense of physical vitality that is influenced by food, movement, sleep, daily routines & rituals, relationships, the workplace, and more.)

3. Composure (A person’s ability to name and regulate their emotions through mindfulness; increasing his or her ability to stay calm and feel in control of their personal outcomes.)

4. Collaboration (A person’s relationships and support networks that create personal and professional environments of trust, curiosity, vulnerability and innovation.)

5. Tenacity (A person’s ability to persevere and stay in action during challenging and demanding situations through enhanced energy management, staying motivated and a strong sense of realistic optimism.)

6. Reasoning (A person’s ability to embrace change and explore & question his or her belief system, increasing one’s resourcefulness and agility.) 

Resilience allows a person to adapt faster to the demands of their work environment and life in general. For example, employees with higher resilience report 83% higher job satisfaction, 10%+ increased productivity, and are 43% less likely to leave an organization due to low well-being. Therefore, when we increase individual resilience, we increase an organization’s resilience and ability to better achieve business outcomes. These outcomes include sales revenue, net income, employee engagement, and employer net promoter score (NPS). To move in this direction there are 3 steps an organization and it’s employees can take.

Step 1 Toward Resilience

Understand that not all stress is bad.

Meaning and stress are inextricably linked: a meaning-full life = a stress-full life. However, this is good news because people who are deeply connected to their values/purpose have

  • increased pain tolerance
  • greater self control and regulation
  • experience less rumination after a stressful experience

Therefore, avoiding stress is not the answer. Instead, we need to focus our energy and efforts on getting better at handling stress. This will put us in a position to participate in positive behaviors that will impact the things we care most about.

Step 2 Toward Resilience

Focus personal & organizational resources on increasing resilience.

Resilience is the ability to positively respond to adversity or demanding circumstances (i.e. stress). Some call it “bouncing back.” But you could think of it as “bouncing forward”, too. You can bounce forward into

  • growth
  • learning
  • enhanced well-being
  • new opportunities aligned with our values, purpose & goals

There are many mindsets & behaviors that work together in creating more resilience. One behavior that organizations can help employees develop is greater self-awareness around their current state of resilience. This coupled with actionable resources will help to increase their resilience.

Step 3: Get Clear

Get clear on your vision & help employees do the same.

Vision is the foundation of well-being and the ability to show up as fully productive and engaged employees, partners & colleagues. You wouldn’t buy a house with a foundation that has cracks in it, would you? So, let’s treat our inner world with the same diligence and care. 

Vision is defined as having a clear sense of purpose & meaning in our work and our lives. Also, it includes having clearly defined goals that are congruent with our values, purpose, and other goals. Two recommended techniques for strengthening personal vision are S.M.A.R.T. goals and neuroscience-based activation techniques. Both strategies allow a person to tap into the power of the subconscious mind. This allows the mind to code an imagined experience in the same way it would an actual (desired) experience.

Our brain is a goal-setting and achieving machine. That is to say, if our goals are in conflict with our vision, values or other goals, our brain will become confused. And any sense of incongruence, confusion or inaction leads to feelings of stress, anxiety and frustration. This is why it’s important to have clearly defined goals that are aligned with our deepest values. This is the best first step to laying a strong and solid inner foundation of resilience.


There has never been a better time to include resilience-building solutions in your people development goals and strategic initiatives. It’s good for your people, and it’s good for your business. Greater personal resilience results in highly engaged, productive, and collaborative teams and workplaces.

Let’s chat, so that together we can build the mindsets and behaviors necessary to help your organization adapt faster, embrace change, and thrive during uncertain times.

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