I was chatting with a colleague the other day who said that she was starting to experience a backlash from certain clients about the word Resilience and the concept of Resilience Coaching.
When I asked why, she said that some employers and employees felt that Resilience Coaching was just a way of ensuring employees could cope with more and more workload, so that no matter how much pressure was placed on them by the organisation, they wouldn’t crack under the strain.
Thus in their view, it’s a licence to promote unhealthy working practices if you like.
Well, that is undoubtedly one way of looking at it.
Re-Framing Resilience Coaching
However, a big part of any Coaching process is to help people see things from different perspectives, to re-frame things.
Because looking at situations or challenges through just one lens or from one party’s perspective can be incredibly limiting.
When we re-frame the situation we can take a broader view.
The Definition of Resilience
When you look up the definition of the word Resilience it says:
“the capacity to recover quickly from adversity; mental toughness”
So it does fit into the frame some employers are starting to resist.
However, I pose the question:
What’s wrong with having coaching to help you recover quickly from adversity or to develop mental toughness?
They sound like pretty good life skills to me.
Karen Reivich, co-author of the excellent book ‘The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles’ defines it as:
“the ability to adapt and to persevere when things go awry”
And I think that’s a great definition.
Things go awry every day of our lives, possibly every hour of our days. However, it’s how we respond to those challenges that determines how big a deal they are.
When we have the mental capacity to face up to life’s daily challenges and the mental agility to resolve them, then we can call ourselves Resilient.
My Aim as a Resilience Coach
So in nearly 10 years of specialising in Resilience Coaching, the key for me isn’t about helping people cope with more and more work to benefit the employer (although that can be a great by-product for the financial sponsor!).
My ultimate aim is to help my clients cope with the ever-increasing complexity, uncertainty, fluidity and indeed relentless pressures of modern day life and work to benefit themselves, their families, their friends, their colleagues and yes, ultimately their employers too.
If they can’t then the worst case scenario is they experience extreme levels of unhealthy stress, anxiety and even severe depression. Their whole lives can unravel, not just their working life.
What Does Resilience Coaching Do?
So Resilience Coaching is a positive force for good. It:
· Builds clients’ underlying reservoir of resilience so they have reserves to draw on when times get tough (whether that’s at home or at work).
· Prevents them from tipping over from healthy stress or pressure into unhealthy stress
· Helps them deal with anxiety and overwhelm if they have already passed the tipping point
· Supports them in recovering from extreme stress, anxiety and mild to moderate depression
How Does Resilience Coaching Work?
It helps clients recognise the forgotten fundamentals of resilience: quality sleep, good nutrition, sufficient hydration and plenty of physical exercise.
It gives people a sense of personal agency. We so often feel that life is out of our control. However, we have far more control than we think we do. We don’t need to become helpless victims of our environment.
It gives clients belief and hope that they can cope and they can recover, as so many others have. They are not a hopeless case or a lost cause!
Last but not least it supports them with practical tools, strategies and frameworks to apply in their daily lives.
So in summary, Resilience Coaching is hugely beneficial. I see the positive results with my clients every single day.
I’m proud to call myself a Resilience Coach – and I won’t be changing that tag anytime soon!