Exciting news! We have been working with Tandem Learning to create a “serious game” (a game designed for a specific learning purpose) on change that uses our resilience model. We were waiting for approval from a client for the funding to take the game to completion, and we just got the green light. Once it’s done, we will be able to make it available to other clients who want a fun, simple way to introduce people to the concepts of resilience. Stay tuned for more.
Archives for August 2010
One of my inspirations for thinking about resilience is the natural world. Think about the resilience of a willow tree, or a river, or a colony of ants. What strikes me about all of these things is that for them the process of “bouncing back” does not just start when they encounter a disruption; it’s built into the system from the beginning. A willow tree is resilient because it has grown deep roots, and has a cellular structure that allows it to bend with the wind. A river is resilient because its droplets keep flowing, patiently moving around or through whatever might be in the way. A colony of ants is resilient because a thousand little creatures, each following its own simple logic, come together to move objects, recreate structures, and carry on when disruptions occur.
As human beings, we are built to change. We do it all the time. When change feels hard, it’s usually because [Read more…]
I just ran across an interesting article in the journal Psychological Science, by Todd Kashdan and several co-authors. They focused on the fact that some people are able to describe the emotions they’re feeling in specific categories (sad, anxious, etc.) while others simply describe feeling good vs. bad. They hypothesized that people who are better at describing their emotions might be less likely to “self-medicate” with alcohol, and studied drinking behavior in a group of underage “social drinkers.” They found that people with intense negative emotions who were better at describing their emotions consumed less alcohol than their counterparts who relied on more global descriptions of emotions.
So how does this relate to resilience? Well, the skill of emotion regulation is an important element of resilience. People who are better able to manage their emotions are better able to [Read more…]
If resilience is about how we respond when unexpected and disruptive things happen in our work or personal lives, how do we go about building it? I believe that there are really two levels of resilience-building that are important. The first is making sure we have the skills and capabilities to respond to adversity when it happens. The resilience characteristics we describe in our model address these “change muscles”. For instance, Positive: The World and Positive: Yourself involve skills such as those described in Dr. Martin Seligman’s work, including developing an optimistic (rather than a pessimistic) explanatory style. The Flexible: Thoughts characteristic involves skills such as generating multiple creative options and tolerating ambiguity.
It’s important to practice and build these skills before you need them. I use the analogy of “change muscles” in my classes and presentations. Just as with physical muscles, it doesn’t work to try to develop strength all at once, or in the midst of major stress– [Read more…]
I had a recent conversation with some wonderful people from GLG about resilience, and they mentioned a couple of authors who had resilience books I hadn’t yet run across. So of course I went to Amazon and found some good used copies to add to my library.
One of them is called The Art of Resilience: 100 Paths to Wisdom and Strength in an Uncertain World, by Carol Orsborn. I’ve just begun to delve into it, but it is a lovely book. She presents [Read more…]