Resilience is required in the workplace and in everyday life. But what does it really mean? - and how can we spot if we’re resilient ourselves? Here, we take a look at some tools and concepts used through Luminary Mindset™ coaching to identify and measure resilience in yourself. Plus, how to apply these tools within your teams and wider working culture.
Resilience and Emotional Intelligence
People get their resilience tested in life all the time: through injury, illness, a family crisis or the burden of financial stress. If you are really unlucky, all at the same time.
Nevertheless, life usually requires us to bounce back fast, which isn't always easy without identifying strategies that work best for us. Our emotional intelligence and self awareness is a key strategy in regaining resilience when we need it the most.
In a circular way, one of the things that builds our emotional intelligence, are these types of life events and circumstances that cause us to call upon our resilience. Life will test us, but ultimately, it strengthens and develops us.
Measuring Emotional Intelligence
The wheel illustrated below is part of the psychometric tool (EQi-2.0) that the coaches at Luminary Mindset™ use to measure emotional intelligence with their clients. You'll see on the outside of the wheel, there is ‘well being’ because ultimately, this is what emotional intelligence is working towards.
Well Being - Developing the Ability to Notice Internal Emotions
The Well-Being part of the tool is all about learning how our emotional intelligence affects our interpersonal skills, and ultimately, our decision-making. We need to be able to notice what's going on inside other people in order to make the best leadership decisions. Note that this refers to inside - rather than what they're saying, which can make all the difference.
Emotions can be very different to the spoken word. Often, we don't say how we are feeling, we say what people want to hear or what we think is appropriate, rather than what's actually going on. As a great and effective leader, you need to be able to notice what others are feeling and potentially how they're perceiving the world, so that you can better influence them from both a collaborative and relational perspective.
What Does This Bring To a Team and an Individual?
Having this kind of understanding as a key leadership skill can result in a leader who is very connected to the environment around them, connected to what's going on, and well plugged into the team both on an individual level, but also at a group level.
The biggest upside to this is a team that feels supported and understood. It also allows them to feel safe to do the same with their peers. What can then be created is an emotionally intelligent culture, which leads to a resilient environment for people to work in. It's connected by strong interpersonal skills, and high levels of trust due to the levels of psychological safety that is cultivated.
Key Emotional Intelligence Skills For Creating Resilience
Creating resilience starts with self awareness: understanding yourself, how you're feeling and how you're interpreting the world. You can then use that understanding to inform your interpersonal skills, how you're communicating with others, what questions you're asking, and how you're listening.
In doing that, the decision making that goes on around you is effectively enhanced.
For clients looking to help their teams with their resilience, we work with leaders on helping them develop what we call their Reality Testing. This is also a key part of the emotional intelligence toolkit used throughout Luminary Mindset™ coaching.
Reality Testing is the process that happens in our brains when we receive new information. It's something that actually happens in the environment around us - the stimulus comes in through the senses and the programmed reaction then follows.
For example, we might receive an email or phone call and our brain tries to make meaning out of this new information that it now has. When working on Reality Testing, we look at how the brain makes meaning out of what is happening, which can often divert from the reality. Our brain can create a skewed reality, which then affects our reactions, emotionally and behaviourally. Becoming more aware of this meaning making process, allows us to gain more control over our reactions and actions and therefore, become more resilient in a wider range of situations.
What is Meaning Making?
This meaning making is our judging and perceiving of a situation. Of course, this perceived new information is going to inform how we respond to it. We may say, "what I've just heard means X" or, "what I've just seen definitely means Y".
Now the meaning that we make out of what's happened isn't usually what is actually happening. You'll notice sometimes if you receive some news, you might hear this internal narrative play out. It might sound like, "I guess that means this, and then that must mean that and then, of course, this will follow as a result".
During this chain of thought that comes off the back of just one event, assumptions are made. And we allow all of this to influence how we communicate and decision-make. We don't want or need this to happen as much as it does and working with a better understanding of meaning making can help to reduce this chain, and simplify our thought processes during different situations. This kind of meaning-making happens more when we're under stress.
What influences our Meaning Making?
Assumptions can waste a lot of time and resources across an organisation and in our personal lives. It's also exhausting and draining and can lead to extremely poor decision making. It can also lead to a huge amount of procrastination, which takes up even more time and energy.
Reality Testing is pulling people back to the what's happened, the actual information that's received before all of that judgement and perceiving that goes on in our brains. Sure, it might mean X, Y and Z, but let's just ground ourselves in what happened and try and focus on that for a while longer.
It will soon become one of those circuit breakers that we can rely upon to stop the brain from over exaggerating and overthinking the situation. And, more importantly, stop the brain from releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline that can be extremely taxing on our health and wellbeing over time.
If the idea of improving team or personal resilience and tackling meaning making and reality testing resonates for your organisation, please get in touch to speak with a member of our team about the Emotional Intelligence Toolkit EQi-2.0.
Zoe Williams, Founder and CEO - Luminary Mindset Consulting