Albert Einstein once said “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”. Making mistakes is how we grow as people, as businesses, and as a society. Yet we have become fearful of failure – either through mistakes or life’s curveballs. We expect to succeed – all the time. Subsequently, we fail to take the right lessons from mistakes and things not going our way. We are simply not resilient enough. But there is a solution to low resilience in the workplace…
“Resilience” may not be the first soft skill you consider when asked, but as an employer it should be high on your list. In the competitive world of business, resilience is essential to everyday life. Mistakes can cost you customers, market shares and even jobs. The fear of failure in your employees may be rational or irrational – but failure is not just about avoidable mistakes. How they react and view the situation is what is important.
The soft skill “resilience”
As we go through life, we learn a series of lessons and develop confidence. We learn from our mistakes, from our successes and from the experiences of others. Sometimes, things do not go according to our expectations. How we react to these mistakes, failures and curve balls indicates our resilience or lack of resilience.
A person with low resilience will see every curve ball as a critical flaw in the system or their character. They may “catastrophise” and simply give up or act as though the situation is hopeless.
A person with high resilience takes every curve ball on the chin. They recognise the problem, accept it, and do what they can to mitigate it. They see problems and failing as challenges, not as flaws.
Resilience in the workplace:
It is the ability of an individual or organisation to accept mistakes. With high resilience, failure, pressure and disappointments are facts of life.
Resilience is about:
Adaptation, acceptance, work ethic, positivity and determination. All of these attributes are vital in your employees.
High and low resilience scenarios
These theoretical scenarios show how a person with low or high resilience might react to a given situation:
1. Sarah applied for the vacant position of Deputy Manager last week. The job went to her colleague. Naturally, Sarah was disappointed:
- Low resilience: Sarah might think she is not cut out for the job and either leave or simply stop seeking promotion.
- High resilience: Sarah might consider her actions and answers to questions in the interview. She will realise what she did wrong (if anything) and look to improve in case a similar role comes up again. Sarah has a growth mind-set.
2. A company might lose one of their biggest clients. It is nothing they did wrong. The client is suffering financial difficulty and is looking to cut costs:
- Low resilience: The decision makers could catastrophise and accept the loss of the contract, making moves to scale down their own business.
- High resilience: They may offer to renegotiate the contract with the valued client. Or, if there is nothing to be done, they will actively and immediately seek new clients with a positive outlook for the future.
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As you can see, the soft skill resilience in your employees is vital. It is more than positive thinking, but looking on the bright side is part of it. With the right guidance, your employees can develop resilience to the benefit of the company.
How can you help your employees exactly to improve their soft skills? With Bookboon’s eLibrary full of educational eBooks. It is the most used eLibrary for employee effectiveness & soft-skills and it is the simplest and most effective solution for improving your employees’ personal effectiveness and soft-skills. Bookboon has a great range of eBooks to help your employees develop those vital soft skills like resilience – when your employees are growing, so does your business.
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