What is resilience?

Ark People & Communities

We think of resilience as the ability to “bounce back”, the ability to “roll with the punches” and in today’s operating environment, one of the most important personal attributes somebody can have. The current economic climate doesn’t only an adverse effect on the growth and sustainability of our organisations but on the employees that serve it.

People that have higher mental toughness and levels of resilience have greater ability to deal with perceived adverse situations in a more positive and creative way, they can absorb any learning offered by setbacks fairly quickly and at the minimum physical and mental cost. Mentally tough people adopt Positive Behaviours and Wellbeing. These translate into greater aspirations; employability – more confident and ambitious, openness to change, transition – better to deal with new settings (schools/jobs/employers), completion – stickability will complete the task, programme etc. social mobility and motivation.

‘Mental Toughness It’s a personality trait which determines, in some part, how individuals perform when exposed to stressors, pressures and challenge, Irrespective of the prevailing situation’ (Clough & Strycharczyk 2011) Resilient people can keep functioning both physically and psychologically. Resilience helps us to survive – it also helps us to grow and develop.

What the research tells us about Mental Toughness and resilience?

  • Mental Toughness accounts for up 25% of variation, perform better & achieve more
  • Coping is not resilience
  • It’s not all nature; we can learn and develop it
  • It’s universal – it’s applicable in many walks of life
  • It has a genetic component
  • It can increase or decrease
  • It is significant

One of the most exciting facts for us is Mental Toughness is measurable and developable. We are able to assess individuals, teams, organisations and community’s capacity to deal with stressful situations, understand why one person succeeds and another can struggle given the same situation and work with them to develop individual approaches to help them perform under pressure and respond positively to challenge.

We build mental toughness into a number of our programmes including our Rise & Shine development programme. We can easily measure Mental Toughness through a simple but effective online measure, through individual interventions we can help build on an individuals or organisations Mental Toughness levels & measure their distance travelled.

It is not possible to be prescriptive about development interventions as each person is different and what works for one may not work for another, which is why using a good diagnostic tool can be valuable.

However some of the most effective interventions include:

  • Positive thinking
  • Visualisation
  • Anxiety control
  • Attentional control
  • Goal setting

We can either help someone change their mental toughness or we can show someone how to adopt the behaviours that a mentally tough person would adopt. Either way many of the benefits of developing mental toughness can be achieved.

To find out more about Ark People & Communities visit http://www.arkcommunities.co.uk or contact Helen Scurr, Managing Director at hscurr@arkcommunities.co.uk .