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Four Tips That Will Make You A More Resilient Leader

Change continues to drive business and resilience is the trait that is helping leaders grow despite the disruptions. So what does it mean to be resilient? Let’s start with the definition; resilience is the capability to recover readily from illness, depression and adversity.

Though some aspects of resiliency are inherited, it is also a skill set involves behaviors, actions and thoughts that can be learned and developed.

Here are four tips to make you a more resilient leader who has the strength to move forward and power through to the next set of opportunities.

1. Understand and Manage Emotional Intelligence

Resilient leaders develop the ability to understand and endure negative emotions and do something constructive with them. They remind themselves that what they are facing is usually temporary, that they have overcome challenges before and can do so again. Keeping a positive outlook is important to them. Situations that test mental resilience are testing the leader’s emotional intelligence, to a large extent.

2. Continue to Grow and Develop Good Habits

“Habits are like financial capital – forming one today is an investment that will automatically give out returns for years to come.” 
Shawn AchorThe Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work 

Resilient leaders subscribe to Achor’s notion and they are consistently developing good habits and looking for ways to improve their lives.

Here is a simple approach to developing good habits - a resilient leader adopts the 1% rule in three areas of life (e.g., emotional, mental and physical). One example: Making a slight improvement in their emotional well-being means spending time with people who are supportive and inspiring to them. By doing this they choose friends wisely, and understand that the right circle of influence can impact a person’s success. 

3. Learn when it is Time to Say “No”

In Ed Batista Harvard Business Review article ‘Learning to Say “No” is Part of Success’ he shares, “…Success tends to attract bigger and better opportunities. As we succeed, a key challenge becomes prioritizing the many opportunities that present themselves.” For resilient leaders the same holds true when it comes to mastering the art of prioritization and saying “no”.

Another good reminder Ed Batista includes, “Practice, saying “no” is like any other interpersonal skill—it feels clumsy and awkward at first, and we improve only with repeated effort.”

The take away, when it’s time to say “no”, resilient leaders avoid phrases such as “I may not be able to attend.” or “I’m unsure.” They say “no” with confidence.

4. Celebrate the Victories

To preserve emotional health, resilient leaders need small wins in their personal and professional lives. In the book Feeling Good, Dr. David Burns discusses how important it is to keep track and celebrate not just our major achievements, but also our seemingly minor achievements. In the extreme, attention to small wins can help people lift themselves out of depression; this is one of the tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy. Here’s an example: People suffering from depression can find it difficult to maintain an exercise program, even though any kind of physical activity can reduce depressive symptoms. So, a goal that includes working out at the gym for an hour each day can seem unthinkable, and that work-out never happens. As Burns writes “You may assume you must do everything at once instead of breaking each job down into small, discrete, manageable units which you can complete one step at a time.” This means that it’s much more effective to start with a modest goal like simply taking a walk around the block. By keeping track of success in meeting such a goal, and celebrating it, depressed people can begin to build their goals and start enjoying more, larger, successes.

Our research at Mindability also tells us that resilient leaders search for answers and meaning. Continue your search and learn more about resiliency today at and follow us @mindability

Posted By Kelly Isley | 11/2/2015 11:03:27 AM

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Built on forty five years of industry experience, Mindability programs have been successfully used by leading hospitals, mental health centers, government agencies, and individuals ranging from college students to mature adults.


Four Tips That Will Make You A More Resilient Leader  

Change continues to drive business and resilience is the trait that is helping leaders grow despite the disruptions. So what does it mean to be resilient?


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