Strength, Grace, and Resilience

Recent research by ADP surveyed 25,000 working adults in 25 countries regarding 10 key questions about resilience during COVID-19. Findings indicate that resilience is built not by the COVID situation and global or country response, but by individual confrontation with COVID related problems. The researchers reached two surprising conclusions:

  1. Resilience is a reactive state of mind created by exposure to suffering.
  2. The more tangible the threat, the more resilient we become.

The first conclusion was based on the fact that participants who dealt more directly with COVID personally or with family members were more likely to be highly resilient.

And the second conclusion suggested that the more changes participants reported in their personal and work life, the more highly resilient they reported.

The lessons learned should be no surprise. 

  • Senior leaders often pursue the wrong approach to increase resilience in those they lead – it is the unknown that is worse. Give facts and resources for employees to deal with the situation.
  • Resilience is cultivated when we are forced to respond to and face reality no matter how difficult rather than ruminating a worse story over and over again.
  • Individuals need the transparent truth rather than a glossed over version. Facing the truth is much better and less scary than the imagined situation. 
  • Communicate the difficulties rather than hide the issues. Employees will reveal their strength to deal with it.
  • Trust employees to adjust to the new normal.

As the author notes, “It’s the unknown that scares us. Show us the truth about our threats, and we will reveal the true reserves of our power.”

What Really Makes Us Resilient

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