Resilience: Have you developed this amazing quality in 2020?
We have endured one of the most stressful periods in modern history, but rather than listing out the challenges (which are numerous), let us take some time to reflect on a valued quality that has emerged in most people during these tumultuous times, specifically business-wise.
This, too, shall pass.
Having endured the past year, first with the bushfires all across Australia and next with COVID-19, restrictions and lockdowns, we have all been given the gift of resilience. Resilience is immensely valuable, not just for businesses but also for employees and the self-employed.
Harvard Business Review recently published two studies about resilience. One study aimed to recognise resilience sources, discovering the best methods to assess resilience and then produce precise ways to boost resilience in ourselves and the ones whom we guide and care about. The other surveyed 25,000 working adults in 25 countries to uncover global data on resilience.
Those studies found that resilience levels are similar across genders, age groups, ethnicities and nationalities, but there were some surprising discoveries.
First, the more exposed a person had been, the higher their level of resilience. People who had multiple connections (5 or more) to others who had contracted COVID-19 or who had contracted it themselves were almost 4 times as likely to be highly resilient than those who had none or 1 connection. The findings suggest that resilience is developed only in the face of suffering and adversity and is strengthened after emerging from it.
Second, the more real or substantial the threat is to a person, the more resilient they get. People who had encountered multiple changes (5 or more) in their workplace were 13 times as likely to be highly resilient than those who had experienced none or 1 change. Changes could include change in work hours, income levels, higher utilisation of technology, layoffs, etc. This suggests that resilience is built when encountering and dealing with unexpected changes.
The overall conclusion from the research is that humans are more than capable of dealing with adversity and adapting to difficult circumstances, especially when we have transparent, truthful and direct information. This is also relevant to businesses, employees and the self-employed.
Resilience is often associated with other strengths like grit, determination, perseverance and growth, which are excellent qualities to possess in career and business. Resilience allows one to bounce back and psychologically recover quickly from significant sources of stress and hardship. Our ability to cope with unexpected challenges and changes in life grows with each experience and we emerge stronger from the other side.
COVID-19 and the bushfires across Australia are by no means the only sources of resilience in our lives. Many other tough situations have contributed to our ever-increasing resilience levels throughout our lives. Resilience is truly a superpower that we have within us, shining brightly in the darkest of times.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market News 01/2021.