Resilience at work

Our industries attract deeply passionate and highly motivated people. It’s what makes it fun. But when we all take work to heart – what happens when it goes wrong?

When that inevitable time comes when we’re not meeting targets or we say the wrong thing – do we cope with adversity well? Or does it create anxiety that grows to overwhelming proportions and plays in our minds on repeat?

Last year a sudden loss in my personal life led me to discover the term “resilience” – a current conversation that for the first time made me realise there are good and bad ways of dealing with adversity, and opened up the possibility that a trauma can actually lead to personal growth.

I highly recommend reading “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg, a book inspired by her experience of facing grief, but one that can be equally applied to facing adversity at work, home or wherever else.

In her book Sheryl outlines “Three Ps” to avoid if you want to become resilient at work..

  1. Personalisation – the temptation to think it’s all your fault.

When things go wrong, it’s important to recognise there are many factors at play. Recognise the positive actions you can take, but also find peace with the things that are out of your control.

  1. Pervasiveness – the temptation to thing every area of your life will be affected.

How quickly do we transfer anxiety at work onto family, friends or other situations? Learn that your professional life is not the same as your personal life – and cultivate hobbies outside of work that give you confidence, rest and community.

  1. Permanence – the temptation to think this situation will stay awful forever.

We’ve all been tempted to chuck in the towel at the first sign of trouble. But I’m always surprise at how quickly situations move on and change. Let each situation teach you something useful, and quickly move on to something positive.

The three Ps can quickly lead us into spirals of anxiety and stress. Learning to avoid them can give us strength and steadfastness to deal with whatever comes our way.

I’ve always got a copy of “Option B” ready to lend to anyone who needs to read it – and remember if you work in advertising the charity “NABS” also has many resources available if you are facing a tough time.