Monday 27 June 2016 7:30 pm

Bounceback-ability: How to build personal resilience in a time of change

Tom Welsh is City A.M.'s business features editor.

Tom Welsh is City A.M.'s business features editor.

With millions of working days lost every year due to illness and injury, it pays as a manager to do what you can to ensure that you and your people are mentally and physically well. It’s the right foundation for making sure that you and your team are well-placed to deal with the set-backs that are part and parcel of working life.

But resilience isn’t about being seen to act tough or pretending everything’s fine when it’s not. It’s about having the resolve and inner strength to size up a difficult situation, decide what’s needed and take decisive action to deal with it.

You can increase your own resilience by introducing some subtle changes to the way you think, feel and behave. And encouraging and supporting your team to do likewise can go a long way to building a stronger business.

Build and engage with your network

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. So don’t be afraid to accept help and support from those who know and care about you. Think about connecting with like-minded others through trade and professional associations and social media groups. And try to ensure that the people you manage have access to support they can draw on.

Embrace change

People who embrace change don’t waste energy trying to maintain the status quo when change is inevitable. Change is a constant companion, so embrace it and try to be positive about looking beyond today to what could be a better future.

Read more: Are you prepared for the age agnostic workplace?

Set achievable goals

Break tasks down into smaller, manageable chunks and then take action to tackle them. Completion can bring its own reward in the sense of satisfaction that comes from being in control and having accomplished the task. Lead by example and encourage those whom you manage to do likewise in the way that they work.


Dealing with challenges and adversity can be a spur to acquiring and using new skills. Make the most of them. In addition, knowing that you’ve performed well under pressure can boost morale and build confidence – and leave you better placed to deal with future challenges.

Finding the right blend

Achieving an acceptable blend or balance between the competing demands of home and work – and supporting your team to do the same – isn’t easy. Work-life blend means different things to different people at different times and in different situations.

And, because everyone’s different, an important first step to building a better blend of work and home commitments is taking stock of and identifying your personal needs and priorities. You can’t do it all so try to concentrate on ensuring you prioritise the things that matter most in your home and working life.

Not so common sense

Here are some dos and don’ts you can use to help to build a better work-life blend:

  • Focus on critical tasks
  • Make a plan and stick to it
  • Don’t over-commit – learn to say “no”
  • Don’t be a perfectionist
  • When you identify problems, remember it’s okay to ask for help
  • Delegate where possible
  • Don’t fear failure – it’s an opportunity to learn, grow and inspire others
  • Don’t take work home unless you really need to
  • Live active
  • Take and enjoy your time off – you’ve earned it.

It’s your party

Bringing a better focus to your priorities and the way that you live your life can go a long way to enabling you – and those whom you manage – to acquire an inner strength and conviction that will both enable you to flourish and, in the face of adversity, rise to the occasion to overcome it.