How Resilience Can Make You A Better Employee And Leader

Today we're going to talk about resilience. This is a very important topic for leaders at all levels to be well versed in.

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

It’s Friday, and you’re ready to go out with your friends for an after-work cocktail to wind down from a stressful week. You’ve been looking forward to spending this time with your coworkers for the entire week that you cannot contain your excitement. But then, at the last minute, everyone pulls out and leaves you feeling disappointed. You spent all weekend asking yourself why everyone bailed on you.

On Monday, you still haven’t recovered, and you’re emotionally distant from everyone who bailed. Truthfully, you’re hurt, and you don’t want to talk to your coworkers right now because you’re disappointed.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Sometimes things happen that you cannot control that leave you feeling angry, hurt, and even frustrated. The problem is that not being able to roll with the punches and bounce back from setbacks can affect you both physically and psychologically. The inability to bounce back can affect your mental health and your work performance.

Today we’re going to talk about resilience, which is a skill all successful leaders rely on to get through day to day challenges at work.

What does it mean to be resilient?

Miriam Webster defines resilience as “one’s ability to recover or easily adjust to misfortune or change.”

Another definition is “one’s capacity when met with setbacks, traumas or adversity to easily recover and move forward.”

But, my favorite definition is “the ability to get up and move forward or bounce back when you’ve been knocked down or when things change.”

Why does resilience matter?

Resilience helps you develop coping skills and solve problems. Studies show that resilience can help you avoid conditions such as depression and anxiety. Resilience gives you the strength to move forward when you’re dealing with setbacks or challenges.

Resilient leaders

  • Resilient leaders are flexible and able to respond to ambiguity. This means they can shift gears and adjust to situations while remaining emotionally stable. And, as leaders, we know that’s important.
  • Resilient leaders also have high emotional intelligence. They’re able to identify and manage their emotions as well as the emotions of others.
  • Resilient leaders can help create flexible and productive organizations.

Resilient employees

  • Atr better able to deal with the changing demands placed on them. Especially in those situations where their environment has changing priorities or heavy workloads.
  • Resilient people can also adjust to changes without allowing their performance to suffer.

Five ways to develop resilience at work

1) Learn from problems

Don’t look at problems as challenges, look at them as an opportunity to learn and build skills.

2) Proceed positively

When faced with adversity, respond positively and with positive intentions.

3) Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

Work is stressful enough without having employees and leaders becoming unhinged when faced with a crisis. Manage your perspective.

4) Be optimistic

Looking at the world through a jaded lens will not do you any good or get you ahead. Believe that all things turn out the way they’re supposed to.

5) Embrace change

Recognize life is about change so you can either resist or go with the flow. If you go with the flow, things can be easy. You can remain positive and always find a way forward. But, if you want to resist, you’re making things difficult. So, embrace change because it’s going to happen whether you like it or not.

Resilience is like a rubber band; you stretch it out, and it snaps back


  • Resilience is an individual’s capacity to be met with adversity, setbacks, or trauma, and then recover from them so they can move forward.
  • To handle demands effectively and changing priorities at work, one must be resilient.
  • Resilient people can adapt to changes and not allow performance to suffer at work. So, we all want to be resilient.
  • Resilient leaders set a good example for employees to follow.
  • And more importantly, resilient leaders create flexible and highly productive teams.

Next Steps

Now you have a much better understanding of what resilience is and how to develop it, but you still need to do the work.

Go back and read the five ways that you can develop your resilience. Then, create an action plan so that you can start doing the work.

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